BY Amanda Connelly | November 17 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Scotland’s bishops ask Sturgeon for ‘renewed discussions’ on abortion

Scotland’s bishops have asked First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for renewed discussions on the issue of abortion.

In a letter to the the First Minister, which is also copied to cabinet secretary for Health and Sport, Shona Robison, and minister for Public Health and Sports, Aileen Campbell, comes after the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act last month.

It echoes the views held by the bishops, who across the last 50 years have spoken out about the need to protect the value of human life, the unborn child and its mother.

They wrote that the Catholic Church ‘continues to speak up for the intrinsic value of human life and the good of both the child in the womb and its mother’, highlighting that this is vital in a world where ‘the rights of the weak and vulnerable are increasingly called into question, undermined and attacked’.

The letter voices fears over the provision of abortion services to Northern Irish women in Scotland, and the Scottish Government declaration that some women will be allowed to take the abortion pill at home without clinical support.

“We urge political leaders, governments and secular authorities to see that all humanity is worth protecting; a task which is the responsibility of us all,” they said. “Refusing to recognise the intrinsic value of both lives is profoundly destructive of humanity.

“The Church remains deeply concerned about the continued use of the Abortion Act and its consequences, including the tragic compromising of human life and the damage done to women who feel that they have no other choice than to have an abortion.

“It is also concerned about the provision of abortion services to women from Northern Ireland and the recent announcement of the Scottish Government to allow some women to take misoprostol, the abortion pill, at home without any clinical support.

“With respect to this matter in particular, since abortion is never the answer to a crisis or unwanted pregnancy, making abortion easier ignores the disturbing reality that an innocent human life is ended.”

It also pointed out the results of a nationwide ComRes poll, whose studies showed 60 per cent of people wanted a reduction to abortion time limits, with this figure at 70 per cent among women.

“Since it is clear, that a majority of our fellow citizens do not support the current abortion laws, the decision to ease them further appears to be in conflict with public opinion,” the bishops added.

They spoke of a ‘willingness’ to engage with the government on the issue in order to protect all stages of human life and speak up for all – regardless of age, colour, creed or socioeconomic status.

The bishops expressed a hope that the anniversary would be a ‘catalyst for renewed discussions on the issue of abortion in Scotland’ and would be an ‘opportunity to bring people together to go forward in the search of truth.’

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