Abortion Devolved to the Scottish Parliament

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Today,  23 May 2016, the power to legislate on Abortion is transferred to the Scottish Parliament. It is a change planned for some time that created a desire by some to push for more liberal abortion laws. Evidence of this arose as soon as the talk of transferring the power took place in the Smith commission and the subsequent negotiations on devolving further powers to Scotland.

It was for this reason that SPUC Scotland united with a wide array of organisations in a new initiative called Don’t Stop a Beating Heart (www.beatingheart.scot)

Some mocked the idea that there were proposals for widening abortion law but recent weeks have shown how radical those proposals really are. BPAS and fellow travellers want abortion to be removed from the criminal law entirely. Those who have the opportunity to read academic literature have been aware for some time that those implicated in the abortion industry are eager to justify their actions and are determined to remove any taint of criminality from the practice.

For those of us who recognise the humanity of the unborn baby it is difficult to imagine that the barbarity of ending such a developed human life. There is perhaps a way in which we can think that if people imagine an undeveloped group of cells then there is an excuse for their actions. The recent talk of allowing abortion at any stage by those fully aware of biological development of the unborn baby exposes the reality that deliberately killing any human life hardens consciences and leads to previously unimaginable callousness.

It takes some effort to blot out the reality of the humanity of the baby in the womb. A small child just needs to see an ultrasound image and is in no doubt. That medical staff can be blind to the most basic human notion of protecting the vulnerable shows the great harm that is done by laws which fail to defend the universal human right to life. Reason has been replaced by mantra. Typically, the mantra is “I support a woman’s right to choose”. It is a phrase employed without thought like an anaesthetic for the brain. We would laugh at the thought of “I support the thief’s right to choose”. What about the drug dealers’ right to choose? The capacity to choose has to be bounded by what is actually chosen: am I choosing to do something just or unjust? Something good or something bad?

Political and legislative action ought to take place when there has been adequate reflection and debate in civil society, and that debate has no place for meaningless mantras. It needs to be exposed to the wider society that there is always a better choice than abortion; that abortion takes an innocent life and damages women. For too long our society has pushed the issue of abortion to the fringe of public consciousness. Those on the side of authentic human rights need to work to spread the reasonableness of the view that life in the womb cannot be abandoned to the supposed choice of one person but rather it is a community task to uphold the rights of all.

John Deighan
John Deighan
CEO of Spuc Scotland
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