British Catholic Cardinal Says More Education Needed to Reduce Abortions

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 22, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Catholic Cardinal Says More Education Needed to Reduce Abortions

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 22
, 2008

London, England ( — A British Catholic leader is encouraging pro-life advocates after a disappointing vote against reducing late-term abortions. Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor released a statement saying more should be done to educate and persuade Britons to oppose abortion and seek alternatives.

Some pro-life groups had hoped to be able to reduce abortions from the current 24-week limit to at least 20 or 22 weeks into pregnancy.

A reduction in the abortion limit to 20 weeks would have saved the lives of 2,500 babies annually, but MPs easily defeated the effort to limit the abortions.

"Many people will have been very disappointed by the result of last night’s votes on the abortion time limit. But this issue will not go away," Cardinal O’Connor said in a statement.

"While the law affects attitudes, it does not in itself compel anyone to have an abortion. Even without a change in the law there is much we can all do to change the situation," he explained.

"For the sake of our common humanity, and the lives at stake, we must work to foster a new understanding and approach to relationships, responsibility and mutual support," he urged. "Even without a change in the law we can and should work together at least to make abortion much rarer."

"There are many people on all sides of this debate who agree that 200,000 abortions a year is far too many, and abortion on this scale can only be a source of profound sadness and distress to us all," he said.

In addition to the defeat of the late-term abortion limits, British MPs approved the creation of hybrid human clones on a 336-176 vote that include the DNA of humans and animals.

They also voted 342 to 163 against a ban on so-called "savior siblings" using in-vitro fertilization to create a genetic match for an older brother or sister and destroying the human embryos who don’t match.

The British Parliament also decided that fathers are not necessary in in-vitro fertilization procedures.