Interesting news from the left-wing Guardian newspaper:
A majority of women in Britain want the abortion laws to be tightened to make it harder, or impossible, for them to terminate a pregnancy.
Evidence of a widespread public demand for the government to further restrict women’s right to have an abortion is revealed in a remarkable Observer opinion poll. The findings have reignited the highly-charged debate on abortion, and increased the pressure on Tony Blair to review the current time limits.
The survey by MORI shows that 47 per cent of women believe the legal limit for an abortion should be cut from its present 24 weeks, and another 10 per cent want the practice outlawed altogether. Among the population overall, reducing the upper limit was the preferred option backed by the largest proportion of respondents, 42 per cent, made up of a 36-47 per cent split among men and women.
Only one person in three agreed that ‘the current time limit is about right’, with slightly fewer women (31 per cent) than men (35 per cent) saying that. Just 2 per cent of women and 5 per cent of men think the last possible date after which a woman can end a pregnancy should be increased from 24 weeks.
The leader of the 4.1 million Catholics in England and Wales, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, called on politicians last night to heed the evidence of a growing demand for a rethink on abortion policy, to include The Observer’s findings. ‘There has been a moral awakening over the last few years about abortion; the British public have been undergoing a reality check,’ said his spokesman, Dr Austen Ivereigh. ‘The Cardinal sees in this moral awakening a growing unease with, and erosion of, the idea of abortion as simply a woman’s right.’
Increased awareness of the realities of abortion, and the impact of ultrasound images of a 23-week-old foetus smiling and grimacing, have made people change their views, said Ivereigh. The latter ‘very dramatically showed that what had been depersonalised in many people’s minds as a foetus was clearly seen to be a baby, a human being in formation, and that has come as a shock to many people’, he added…
As I’ve written before, those smiles are the most powerful smiles in the world.
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