Anglican Church Leader Condemns 40 Years of Abortions in England

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 22, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Anglican Church Leader Condemns 40 Years of Abortions in England Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 22,

London, England ( — As Britain marks 40 years of legalized abortion this month, the head of the Anglican Church has written an editorial in a special newspaper feature condemning abortion. The leader of the Church of England and the world’s 77 million Anglicans says abortion has extreme consequences for women and children.

British lawmakers approved the Abortion Act in October 1967 and it eventually went into effect in April 1968.

Archbishop Rowan Williams says abortion is too commonplace in England and around the world and noted how so many women regret their abortions.

“We are not now dealing with a relatively small number of extreme cases," he said.

He also condemned the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug as further devaluing human life.

“Recent discussion on making it simpler for women to administer abortion-inducing drugs at home underlines the growing belief that abortion is essentially a matter of individual decision and not the kind of major moral choice that should involve a sharing of perspective and judgment,” he wrote.

“Something has happened to our assumptions about the life of the unborn child,” he added.

Britain has seen abortions rise recently to more than 200,000 across England and Wales. The number of abortions on teenagers and the frequency of repeat abortions has gone up.

“The rapidly spiraling statistics — nearly 200,000 abortions a year in England and Wales-tell their own story," he said.

According to the British medical publication Lancet, while 20 percent of pregnancies around the world end in abortion, 30 percent do in England.

"We may well ask what has happened," Rowan said.
“What people might now call their ‘default position’ was still that abortion was a profoundly undesirable thing and that a universal presumption of care for the fetus from the moment of conception was the norm,” Rowan concluded.

The article comes amid a debate on whether to lower the abortion limits in England from 24 weeks. Doctors presented parliament last week with evidence on the humanity of the unborn at that time period and revealed what ultrasounds show.

His view was welcomed by many pro-life groups.

A spokesman for Christian Medical Fellowship said: “The Archbishop has endorsed the rapidly growing view that it is indeed time for change.”