BY Ian Dunn | June 2 2017 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

1-ROBSON-ABORTION

Bishop slams culture of death as abortion of disabled rises

Bishop Robson says we are ‘duty bound’ to speak out in defence of the unborn

Bishop Stephen Robson of Dunkeld has said Scotland’s Catholics are ‘duty bound’ to speak out against abortion, as new NHS Scotland figures revealed a substantial increase in terminations where there is a risk of a baby being born seriously disabled.

In a letter penned by the bishop to mark Scotland’s Day for Life on May 31, he encouraged the faithful to respect the sanctity of human life at all stages, and said we are ‘duty bound’ to help change the character of the world.

“The right to life is the most fundamental of all rights,” he said. “Without that right all other rights are lost. At present, human life in the womb is not well protected, leaving unborn babies at risk of losing their lives to abortion, and mothers to the damage of abortion.

“Vulnerable people such as the disabled, elderly and frail are increasingly in danger from pressures to introduce assisted suicide or euthanasia,” he added. “Campaigners have been relentless in pursuing their aim of introducing such laws. Worryingly, there is a broad coalition and considerable political support for extending the threats to life including extending abortion to birth for any reason.

“Even more worryingly, as the culture of death has grown the right to conscience is also becoming increasingly eroded.”

 

Mixed figures

Bishop Robson’s comments come as figures released this week show that 12,063 abortions took place in Scotland in 2016. Although that figure has dropped since a peak of nearly 14,000 in 2008, terminations because the child has a serious disability increased by 57 per cent.

John Deighan, CEO of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children Scotland (SPUC Scotland), said the figures showed ‘a contradiction between our commitment to equality for the disabled and ‘a woman’s right to choose.’’

“In Scotland, we rightly go to great lengths to accommodate people with a disability, yet as a society we are eradicating them before they are born, thus sending a bleak message to our disability community,” he said. “One day, like all other state sanctioned killings, abortion will be a thing of history books. Indeed, that day is already approaching, as a new poll reveals the majority of British people are already against the current law, and as more scientific evidence points to the humanity and dignity of the unborn child.”

 

Poverty

The new statistics also reveal abortions are disproportionately common in the most deprived areas of Scotland. In 2016, abortion rates for women in the most deprived areas were double that of those from the least deprived areas.

“Every abortion is a tragedy, however, the fact that poorer women are more likely to have an abortion highlights that the government has failed women by failing to provide a lack of viable alternatives,” Mr Deighan went on.

“The minority pushing the abortion agenda are way out of step with the rest of society. SPUC Scotland call on the Scottish Government to provide a more consistent approach when it comes to more weak and vulnerable members of society, and not eliminate them in the womb.”

Bishop Robson’s letter concludes by saying: “We as a Catholic people, supported by the bishops of Scotland, will always speak out on behalf of the sanctity of every human life wherever it is threatened, from conception to natural death, and we urge all people of good will to do likewise.”

 

ian@sconews.co.uk

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