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Devolving abortion law to Scotland is an ‘opportunity’, says pro-life charity

Abortion law will now be decided by Holyrood (PA)

A pro-life charity has welcomed a debate in the House of Commons last nigh, during which MPs voted in favour of devolving abortion law to the Scottish Parliament.

Peter Sullivan, who is a spokesman for LIFE said: “For decades the 1967 Abortion Act has been misinterpreted, abused and broken by the abortion industry with seeming impunity. We have seen abortion approval forms pre-signed without doctors ever seeing the patient, abortions offered to women because the baby is a girl and increasing numbers of babies terminated for disability.

“The fact that Scotland recorded over 11,000 abortions last year, at least one every hour, should be a cause for concern amongst lawmakers. It is a fact that many of these terminations result in psychological damage to women. We counsel many women at our LIFE Care Centres, who have suffered emotionally as the result of having an abortion. Far from empowering women the Abortion Act has left them vulnerable to the excesses of the abortion industry.”

Mr Sullivan went on to say that reform should include proper counselling for women facing crisis pregnancies and the abolition of abortion u to birth for disabled babies. He said: “Holyrood should act where Westminster has failed in its duty to protect unborn children and pregnant women. It should make a fresh start with regards to the abhorrent abortion law which has grown arms and legs since it was first introduced in 1967.

“While we would hope that Scotland’s politicians will consider whether the termination of unborn children belongs in a modern Scotland at all, we would expect at the least that reform should include the provision of proper counselling, independent of the abortion provider, to women in crisis pregnancies, and the scrapping of the clause in the law which allows abortion up to birth if the child is at “risk” of having a disability. Acting in the interest of women and children means taking all necessary steps to ensuring they are protected at the times when they are most vulnerable.”

Ahead of the vote yesterday, in a piece for the Guardian online, Labour MP Yvette Cooper said that devolution was a “threat” to abortion law. She said devolution “open the door to a new round of intensive, targeted pressure for restrictions both north and south of the border, and the fragmentation of important healthcare rights, which won’t be good for women in Scotland or England and Wales.”