The Labour and Liberal Democrat parties have both pledged to decriminalise abortion in their election manifestos.
The Liberal Democrat manifesto, released yesterday, says that it will “decriminalise abortion across the UK while retaining the existing 24-week limit.” The Labour manifesto published today, simply says the party will “uphold women’s reproductive rights and decriminalise abortions” – with no guarantee to retain the existing time limit.
Liberal or Democratic?
As well as removing abortion from the criminal law, the Liberal Democrats said they would impose draconian censorship zones around clinics, and “fund abortion clinics to provide their services free of charge to service users regardless of nationality or residency”.
Michael Robinson, SPUC’s Director of Parliamentary Communications and Campaigns said: “Abortion providers already receive millions of pounds for performing taxpayer funded abortions, so it is quite incredible that the Liberal Democrats are promising to fund abortions on women who might not even be eligible for genuine healthcare in this country. If no regard is given to nationality or residency, what is to stop women getting a cheap flight to end their baby’s life at the British taxpayer’s expense?”
“What’s more, the Lib Dems want to stop people at pro-life vigils offering help to women outside abortion clinics; women who might desperately want to keep their babies but feel they have no choice,” he went on. “In a bitter irony, the women most often helped by pro-life vigils have uncertain status or no right to receive benefits and so feel that abortion is their only option. What is liberal or democratic about offering free abortions but denying these women any other help or choices?”
On Labour’s pledge to decriminalise abortions, Mr Robinson said: “Labour has slipped abortion decriminalisation into its manifesto as if it needs no further explanation. However, removing abortion from the criminal law will signal the biggest expansion of abortion provision in over fifty years, and will put women at risk.”
He went on: “Decriminalising abortion would remove legal protection from unborn children, meaning they could have their lives ended for any reason, at least up until the time they are capable of being born alive. Labour talks about ’reproductive rights’”, which are not backed up by any human rights convention, but what about the right, recognised in international law, of the unborn child to be protected by law?
“Decriminalising abortion would also leave women at the mercy of the for-profit abortion industry, and make it easier for abusive men to coerce women into abortions, especially as online abortion pill businesses are likely to proliferate under such a regime.
“There is nothing ’progressive’ about making Britain’s abortion regime even worse and leaving unborn babies and their mothers unprotected by the law.”
LifeNews Note: Courtesy of SPUC. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children is a leading pro-life organization in the United Kingdom.