A news story you might have missed: Prolifers in Britain and Wales scored a big win in early July as they thwarted an attempt by Member of Parliament Diana Johnson to add an amendment—which would legalize abortion up to birth—to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
As the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) reported, there was a “tsunami” of public opposition to Johnson’s “New Clause 55,” Fiona Bruce MP said “Our inboxes have been flooded with calls” and Bob Blackmun MP said he had “received more emails and calls about New Clause 55 than I have about any other measure since I was elected to the House 11 years ago.”
800 physicians addressed an open letter to Ms. Johnson, which began:
You have tabled an amendment (NC55) 1 to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to make radical changes to abortion legislation in England and Wales.
The amendment would go far beyond just ‘decriminalising’ women, and would introduce abortion on demand, for any reason (including sex-selective abortion), up until birth. It would make the Abortion Act redundant by removing all current legal safeguards (many of which protect women) around abortion provided by the Act. 2 This would leave England and Wales with one of the most extreme abortion laws in the world. It would also position England and Wales drastically away from Europe where the median gestational time limit for abortion is 12 weeks.
As health professionals, where required, we are responsible for the care of both women and their babies throughout pregnancy and childbirth. It would be very difficult for us to work in a health service where the lives of these babies could be ended for any reason up to birth and where current legal safeguards around abortion, many of which are there to protect women, have been removed,
Bishop John Sherrington, lead bishop for life issues at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, asked for prayers on July 4th:
The implications of this amendment would permit the free choice of abortion without restriction. The protections of the present legislation would be swept away. … Please pray that this amendment will be rejected by the Speaker as beyond the scope of this particular legislation and, if debated, is rejected.
Thank God for answered prayers.
On July 5th, victory was announced and Right To Life UK’s Catherine Robinson thanked “the thousands of people that rallied over the last week to get friends and family to email their MPs. . . . office. . . . Thank you to the amazing group of pro-life MPs in Parliament who have worked so hard to ensure that these extreme amendments were defeated.”