Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Calls Mount for a Change to 1967 Law

LONDON, JULY 30, 2006 (Zenit) - Official data for 2005 show a slight increase in abortion for England and Wales. The total number of abortions on women resident in the two areas was 186,416, compared with 185,700 a year earlier, a rise of 0.4%, according to information published July 4 by the Department of Health.

In addition, last year there were 7,937 abortions for non-residents of England and Wales, mostly women from Ireland, which takes the overall total for the year to 194,353. The great majority of abortions, 89%, were carried out before 13 weeks gestation; 67% were before 10 weeks. There were 137 abortions carried out for pregnancies beyond the 24th week.

Overall, the abortion rate was 17.8 per 1,000 resident women aged 15-44. In terms of age distribution the abortion rate was highest, at 32.0 per 1,000, for women in the 20-24 age group.

The government, through the National Health Service, paid for 84% of abortions carried out in 2005. The majority, 79%, were carried out on single women, a proportion that has been on the rise since 1995, when it was at about two-thirds.

"The high percentage of abortions -- 66% -- within the first nine weeks of pregnancy is clear evidence, if any were needed, that abortion is provided on demand in the UK," said Julia Millington of the ProLife Alliance. "And the marked increase in the number of early abortions make[s] it difficult to regard this as anything other than abortion being treated as a method of contraception," she added in her reaction to the data in a press release July 4.

Another concern raised over the figures regards abortions carried out on young girls. In 2005 there were 1,083 abortions performed on girls under age 15. The Department of Health grouped together the statistics for the last three years regarding abortions on girls under age 14. In 2003-2005, there were 33 abortions performed on girls under age 13, and 409 abortions on girls aged 13.

"It is shameful that the government should promote secret abortions for girls under the age of consent and insist that their parents aren't told," said John Smeaton, national director of the Society for the Protection for Unborn Children (SPUC).

Smeaton decried the pressure on doctors to maintain strict secrecy regarding abortions for young girls. In a SPUC press release dated July 5, Smeaton stated: "The Department of Health wrongly claims that health professionals are required by law and by their professional code of conduct to provide children under the age of 16 the same confidentiality as people over the age of 16."

Eugenic motive

The official figures also revealed that 1,900 abortions were under "ground E" of the law, which permits abortion if there is a risk that the child would be born handicapped. The Department of Health revealed that chromosomal abnormalities were reported for about 39% of cases under ground E, and congenital malformations in about 45%.

Down syndrome represented 22% of all ground-E cases and was the most commonly reported chromosomal abnormality. Some of the data for ground-E cases was not released on an annual basis, due to the small numbers involved. In the years 2003-2005, there were 11 abortions with a principal medical condition of the congenital malformations cleft lip and/or cleft palate.

The issue of abortions in the case of cleft palates received widespread attention in 2004, when Anglican cleric Joanna Jepson took the police to court in an unsuccessful effort to bring to justice doctors responsible for the abortion of a 28-week-old unborn baby with the condition.

Another notable item detailed in the statistics was the level of women who have more than one abortion. In each year of the 2003-2005 period, 32% of women undergoing abortions had one or more previous abortions. This proportion has risen from about 28% since 1995.

Increase in Scotland

Statistics recently released also show abortion on the rise in Scotland. A total of 12,603 abortions were carried out in 2005, the BBC reported May 24. This was 142 more than the previous year, and is the highest level since abortion was legalized in 1967. Some 3,304 abortions were carried out on women and girls under 20, and of these 341 were for girls under 16.

Commenting on the data in the Sunday Times on May 28, Katie Grant observed that abortion continues to increase despite all the millions of pounds spent on sex education programs, and despite contraception being freely available. Abortion, she noted, "is no longer being used as a last resort but is increasingly treated as just another form of contraception."

The official reaction to abortion does not help the situation, added Grant. All the government does is to promote more and more explicit sex education and to hand out ever greater numbers of condoms, she commented. This ignores the emotional scars of abortion on young girls. "Indeed," Grant observed, "it could be argued that encouraging a girl under 16 to have an abortion is a particular type of abuse."

In the face of high levels of abortion, calls have been made for a change in the law. In June, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor did just that when he met with the secretary of state for health, Patricia Hewitt. The archbishop of Westminster told Hewitt that it was time for Parliament to review the 1967 Abortion Act amid mounting concerns at the frequency and number of abortions, according to an archdiocesan press release dated June 21.

During the meeting the cardinal cited opinion polls showing that most women in Britain want the law tightened to make it harder to terminate a pregnancy.

"This is not primarily a religious issue," stated Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor. "It is a human issue. Abortion is the wrong answer to fear and insecurity. As a society we need to look at ways of supporting women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy.

"People know, perhaps instinctively, that the goodness of a society is known not by its wealth but by the way which it treats the most vulnerable of human beings, the ones with little or no claim on public attention."

Blair troubled

British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he would support a debate on the law on abortion because he is "troubled" by the current legislation, the Sunday Times reported June 18. Blair's view on the issue came after a private meeting held Scottish Catholic leader Cardinal Keith O'Brien.

Nevertheless, "The government has no plans to change the law on abortion," said a spokeswoman for the Department of Health, according to a June 21 report by the BBC.

On July 3 the BBC reported that more than 60 British members of Parliament have signed a Commons motion backing a review of the abortion law, given the scientific and medical changes since it was drawn up in 1967. Phil Willis, chair of the science and technology committee in the Commons, said the issue should be looked at again, warning it was unwise to ignore changing circumstances.

In the meantime, efforts by activists to use some of the more graphic tactics common in other countries to protest abortion have run into legal obstacles. Edward Atkinson, a 74-year-old pro-life campaigner was jailed for four weeks after sending "offensive" pictures of mutilated fetuses through the mail, reported the Independent newspaper on May 8. The photos showed severed limbs and a fetus without its head.

The target of the photos, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, also punished Atkinson, by removing him from a waiting list for a hip replacement. Showing people the graphic results of laws that allow the killing of hundreds of thousands of unborn babies is, it seems, too much for British sensibilities.

Contact

Catholic Online
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

Abortion, LIfe, British, England, Law, Women

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 250 of 4,719

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Priestly Identity: Crisis and Renewal (Part 1)
Catholic Online

Al Qaeda...afraid of Benedict's message!
Hugh McNichol

Benedict XVI...calling all to hope...
Hugh McNichol

Perfect Women
Cheryl Dickow

Papal Palm Sunday Address - 'Enough With the Bloodshed'
Catholic Online

Spotlight on China
Catholic Online

Papal Homily for Palm Sunday
Catholic Online

Holy Week...Holy Time!
Hugh McNichol

Mary and Motherhood
Cheryl Dickow

The Void
Paul Sposite

Islamic violence wounds the global community!
Hugh McNichol

The Seven New Deadly Sins!
Hugh McNichol

Catholic benefits include Catholic principles!
Hugh McNichol

Remembering Father Alfred Kunz
Matt C. Abbott

David vs Goliath
Theresa Lisiecki

Happy Lent!
Paul Sposite

Diplomacy...Vatican style!
Hugh McNichol

Sub umbra Petri! (Under the Shadow of Saint Peter)
Hugh McNichol

Cuba...a neonascent Church!
Hugh McNichol

Kids in Conflict
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On the Writings of St. Augustine
Catholic Online

The Relevance of Lourdes at 150
Catholic Online

Hillary...what would Saint Norbert say!
Hugh McNichol

Lent...questions, answers and involvement!
Hugh McNichol

Mary, Mother of all Humanity, Hic et Nunc!
Hugh McNichol

Catholics...WAKE UP!
Hugh McNichol

Catholic Brotherhood with the People of the Covenant
Hugh McNichol

Have mercy on us O Lord! - Ash Wednesday
Hugh McNichol

Vote early, vote Catholic!
Hugh McNichol

Christ, our global Alpha and Omega!
Hugh McNichol

Being Catholic means...total affirmation of being Catholic!
Hugh McNichol

Seeing the World through New Eyes
Sarah Reinhard

Emulating the Angelic Doctor!
Hugh McNichol

Priests defend, commend Archbishop Raymond Burke
Matt C. Abbott

Saint Paul...a continued example of radical conversion!
Hugh McNichol

A renaissance of faith, reason and global cooperation....
Hugh McNichol

Cardinal Rigali's Homily at Life Vigil
Catholic Online

Angelus: On Christian Unity
Catholic Online

Silencing the Pope
Catholic Online

Papal Homily on Feast of Christ's Baptism
Catholic Online

Education and Gender
Catholic Online

The ignominy of Roe vs. Wade
Hugh McNichol

Papal Message for World Day of the Sick
Catholic Online

Angelus: On Christian Unity
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Planned Lecture at La Sapienza
Catholic Online

Pope's Letter to Jesuits' 35th General Congregation
Catholic Online

Fr. Cantalamessa - Behold, the Lamb of God!
Catholic Online

That We May Be One, and Never Lose Heart
Catholic Online

Sowing Hope in Sierra Leone
Catholic Online

God-incidences are the gift of kairos moments
Mary Regina Morrell

St. Augustine's Last Days
Catholic Online

Liturgy: When There's a Medical Emergency
Catholic Online

Marriage and Celibacy: Love's Link
Catholic Online

Developing a Global Catholic Awareness
Hugh McNichol

Rooms in My Father's House
Cheryl Dickow

Resolutions for New Year 2008
Chris Anthony

Keep teaching Holy Father!!!
Hugh McNichol

Dangers of anti-Catholic academic extremism....
Hugh McNichol

The liturgy war
Matt C. Abbott

Some Answers to a Few Common Questions about Vocations
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Developing a Global Catholic Awareness
Hugh McNichol

Christmas reflections
Chris Anthony

The Lasting Contribution of The Servant of God Pope John Paul II
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

No more bobble-head Jesus'!
Hugh McNichol

Pope's Address to Baptist World Alliance
Catholic Online

The Virgin Without Sin
Catholic Online

Cardinal Vingt-Trois on His New Mission
Catholic Online

Archbishop Forte on Religion & Freedom: Part 1
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Chromatius of Aquileia, Pope, Benedict
Catholic Online

Pope's Address for Consistory of Cardinals
Catholic Online

Trafficking in Lives
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict - On Hope
Catholic Online

The Hidden Costs of Gambling
Catholic Online

A Vital, Life-Giving Message
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Christianity's Contribution
Catholic Online

Youth and Fashion's Modest Twist
Catholic Online

Papal Homily at the Consistory
Catholic Online

Love, Marriage and Happy Kids
Catholic Online

The Virtue of Obedience: Our Duty, Our Crown
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Vere dignum et justum est!
Hugh McNichol

Pope's Address to Bishops of Kenya
Catholic Online

Democracy in Danger in Venezuela
Catholic Online

The Life-Sapping Human Virus
Catholic Online

'You Alone Are The Lord': A Brief Summary of Catholic Teaching
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Sacred Time...Come Lord Jesus!
Hugh McNichol

How Christ-like are we in our lives?
Chris Anthony

A Retreat for Today's Christian Woman
Cheryl Dickow

Pope Benedict - On Trust in God
Catholic Online

God and Caesar Seen From Down Under
Catholic Online

Praying the Luminous Mysteries for our Clergy
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Culture's Pressure on Our Girls
Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle

Papal Message on the Common Good
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - St. Jerome on the Bible
Catholic Online

What Every Parent Should Know About 'The Golden Compass'
Catholic Online

Cardinal Poupard on 'Populorum Progressio'
Catholic Online

A Richer Liturgical Translation: Interview With Bishop Roche
Catholic Online

U.S. Bishops' Statement on War in Iraq
Catholic Online

The 'Golden Compass' is no treasure for children
Mary Regina Morrell

Bishop Skylstad's Address to U.S. Bishops' Fall Meeting
Catholic Online

Rewarding Failure
Catholic Online

On St. Martin of Tours
Catholic Online

Undermining Parents
Catholic Online

God...our theological E.F.Hutton!
Hugh McNichol

The Secular Vs. Religion?
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Jerome
Catholic Online

The Scourge of Poverty
Catholic Online

Sons and Daughters of God...EQUALLY!
Hugh McNichol

On Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
Catholic Online

Why Dads Matter
Catholic Online

Archbishop Chaput on Citizenship and Evangelization
Catholic Online

God Created Man for Life, Not Death
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for November
Catholic Online

Imposing 'Tolerance'
Catholic Online

A Turn to the Fathers: Interview With Father Robert Dodaro
Catholic Online

Evangelizing a Digital World
Catholic Online

Women Religious on Human Trafficking
Catholic Online

John Crosby on Von Hildebrand's Understanding of the Person
Catholic Online

Chicago law firm fights for civil rights, against death culture
Matt C. Abbott

On the Call to Martyrdom
Catholic Online

Media Benefits and Dangers
Catholic Online

Fr. Cantalamessa - The Pharisee and the Publican
Catholic Online

Aborting Viable Lives
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Ambrose of Milan
Catholic Online

'You Alone Are The Lord': A Brief Summary of Catholic Teaching
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Prostitution: Legal Work or Slavery?
Catholic Online

Address of Holy See on Religious Liberty
Catholic Online

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on 'Populorum Progressio'
Catholic Online

Escaping Poverty: Interview With Archbishop Silvano Tomasi
Catholic Online

Christ's Parable About the Need to Pray Always
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Eusebius of Vercelli
Catholic Online

Recovering subtle signs of our Catholic Identity!
Hugh McNichol

On Peace, Missions and Justice
Catholic Online

Congratulations to His Eminence John Cardinal Foley!
Hugh McNichol

Giving Ourselves Completely to Mary
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

The 'Courage' to go 'Beyond Gay'
Matt C. Abbott

When Bioethics Turned Secular
Catholic Online

Confession Comeback
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On Hilary of Poitiers
Catholic Online

Reemergence of Global Catholic Identity!
Hugh McNichol

Father Cantalamessa on the Leap of Faith
Catholic Online

Month of the Rosary
Catholic Online

Why Technology Needs Ethics
Catholic Online

Cardinal Lozano Barragán on Future of Health Care
Catholic Online

How Can Catholics Understand Mary as Co-Redemprix, Mediatrix of All Graces and Advocate?
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

New Saint Book is Visually Stunning and Filled with Detail
Lisa M. Hendey

Papal Homily in Velletri
Catholic Online

Wednesday'a Audience - On St. Cyril of Alexandria
Catholic Online

Father Cantalamessa Analyzes Relationship
Catholic Online

Holy See Address to U.N. General Assembly
Catholic Online

Homily From Red Mass in Washington
Catholic Online

Pope Remembers Cardinal Van Thuân
Catholic Online

The brave monks of Myanmar
Chris Anthony

Faith in Politics
Catholic Online

On Lazarus and World Hunger
Catholic Online

Fighting the Good Fight: Resisting Temptation
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Media frenzy buries U.N. goals

Holy See Statement on Climate Change
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On Chrysostom's Social Doctrine
Catholic Online

China's Seven Sorrows
Catholic Online

Vatican Message to Muslims for Ramadan
Catholic Online

Father Cantalamessa on the First World and Lazarus
Catholic Online

Angels, God's Messengers in a world of fragile peace and Broken promises!
Hugh McNichol

Memo to Mrs. Clinton: Why Not Baby Bonds When Life Begins?
Deacon Keith Fournier

Reorienting the Mass
Catholic Online

Report Card on Religious Freedom
Catholic Online

On Wealth and Poverty
Catholic Online

A Response to Hitchens' 'God Is Not Great'
Catholic Online

Vetoing children's health care?

The ideal family
Joseph Sinasac

Who does the judging?
Dennis Heaney

One mistake away

The Big House ban

In praise of the parish

Text of the USCCB statement for Respect Life Sunday 2007

The Outstanding Purity of Our Blessed Mother
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Educated flock

Religion and politics

Facing a door to the future
Dennis Heaney

A long debate

Who Are the True Progressives?
Deacon Keith Fournier

Petraeus offers a dose of reality

Insurgence
Robert Storr

Papal Address at Vespers
Catholic Online

Papal Coat of Arms Still Relevant
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Address at Heiligenkreuz Abbey
Catholic Online

On Loving Jesus as Mary Did
Catholic Online

Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos on 'Summorum Pontificum'
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On the Trip to Austria
Catholic Online

Father Cantalamessa on the Joy of Fatherhood
Catholic Online

Commentary on Artificial Hydration and Nutrition
Catholic Online

Vatican on Nutrition to Patients in Vegetative State
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Q-and-A Session With Youth in Loreto
Catholic Online

Take a Risk, Follow Your Call: the challenge of a lifetime!
Sisters of Bon Secours

Papal lessons

Family matters

Lessons from a tragedy
Dennis Heaney

Shopping blues
Joseph Sinasac

Marriage Breakdown: Expensive and Divisive
Catholic Online

Her darkness was a warning

The Light of Mother Teresa's Darkness - Part 2
Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • The Vindication of Governor Bob McDonnell, Persevering Faith and the ...
  • Our National Independence Requires Our Dependence On God
  • Psalm for the Sick HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Saturday, July 02, 2016
  • America has become craven, that's why Satan is winning
  • St. Bernardino Realino: Saint of the Day for Saturday, July 02, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Wednesday, July 6th, 2016 HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Amos 8:4-6, 9-12
4 Listen to this, you who crush the needy and reduce the oppressed to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:2, 10, 20, 30, 40, 131
2 Blessed are those who observe his instructions, who seek him with all ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:9-13
9 As Jesus was walking on from there he saw a man named Matthew sitting ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 1st, 2016 Image

St. Junipero Serra
July 1: Miguel Jose Serra was born on the island of ... Read More