BY Martin Dunlop | September 5 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Paralympics call UK to change abortion laws

'Discriminatory and outdated' abortion laws must be challenged, Catholic chaplain says

The London 2012 Paralympics give the UK the opportunity to change its ‘discriminatory and outdated abortion laws,’ the first-ever lay Catholic chaplain to the Games has said.

In a pre-recorded interview for Vatican Radio, James Parker—who is also the Catholic Coordinator of the 2012 Paralympic Games, which are currently taking place in London—has called for Christians and others who value human life to challenge leaders and politicians with renewed effort to change the UK’s abortion laws.

The Paralympics chaplain said that Paralympians are ‘no different to any other human being.’

“They often have greater degrees of adversity to overcome but this is an aspect of any life that truly wishes to be lived to the full,” Mr Parker said. “What is astounding is that Britain is enabling the eyes of the world to be opened to the giftedness and potential of those with disabilities through its hosting of the Paralympic Games. However, its own laws vehemently and shockingly discriminate against any new life in the womb that might possibly be affected by a physical handicap, genetic problems or a mental defect.”

The chaplain added that if Team GB wishes to retain its place towards the head of the medals table at future Paralympic Games, the UK  ‘needs to seriously consider changing its laws to stop discriminating against what is presently termed as an ‘unacceptable quality of life.’’

“Games aside, any society that wishes to be healthy needs to increasingly value disability and non-disability equally,” he said.

Mr Parker said that the joy in the Paralympic Village, where athletes and officials are staying during the Games, is ‘palpable’ and it is a place where everybody is ‘celebrated and honoured.’

“The Christian community needs, as a whole, along with others who share our beliefs on the dignity of human life, to continue to take the lead…towards changing Britain’s discriminatory and outdated abortion laws,” he said. “If this issue is not addressed as we wave goodbye to the Paralympic Games from our shores, then it is hard to imagine when another opportunity of this sort will pass our way when British society and the world as a whole is celebrating the incredulous achievements of those with disabilities.”

The London 2012 Paralympic Games will conclude this Sunday. Team GB is currently in second place in the medals table behind China.


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