BY Daniel Harkins | August 31 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Pro-life movement wrongly caricatured as the enemy of women, Archbishop says

Archbishop Tartaglia of Glasgow addressed SPUC, MSPs and fellow clergymen on the issue.

THE PRO-LIFE movement is wrongly caricatured as the enemy of women and it is vital that love is shown to both the unborn baby and its mother, the Archbishop of Glasgow has said.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia was speaking at the opening of the new offices of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children Scotland (SPUC Scotland) in Glasgow’s Union Street.

The pro-life charity has expanded its workforce in recent months and its CEO John Deighan said they are becoming more involved in education and engaging with the media to change the narrative on abortion.

The charity recently took the Scottish Government to court in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the introduction of home abortions.

SPUC’s new offices are also home to Abortion Recovery Care and Helpline (ARCH), which offers support to women in crisis pregnancies.

In front of invited guests, including SNP MSP John Mason and Archbishop Emeritus Mario Conti, Archbishop Tartaglia said: “An important aspect of the pro-life mission is to help the women who have made the unfortunate choice to have an abortion or are thinking of making the unfortunate choice.

“We are often caricatured as being the enemy of women so it is very important that we are, and are seen to be, loving them both.”

The archbishop said that the scientific argument on the status of an embryo as a human life had been won.

“A colleague of mine was in favour of saying that an embryo is not a potential human being but a human being with potential,” he said.

The archbishop added that abortion can ‘wreak havoc on the moral fibre of society,’ on those who have an abortion and on ‘the medical staff who facilitate it.’

“It’s hard to imagine how having an abortion or carrying one out can advance a person in the way of goodness or can progress the good of civilisation,” he said.

“Abortion is a tragic manifestation of the mystery of iniquity that stalks the world today and the culture of life remains the only antidote to that iniquity and to the havoc of abortion.”


Political support

 John Mason, the MSP for ­Glasgow Shettleston, said he was a big supporter of SPUC. He said that a minority of MSPs are pro-life, although the ­number may be greater as some politicians ‘don’t want to stick their heads above the parapet.’

“With Faith in general a lot of people are uneasy,” he said.

“The older generation have some experience of church but a lot of younger people don’t and feel uneasy in a religious setting. So there is a category of MSPs and MPs who are not anti-Church or anti-Faith but are just uneasy about the whole area and that especially becomes the case when it comes to something controversial like abortion.”

Mr Mason, a Baptist, said that while political change on abortion in Scotland is possible, he is not particularly optimistic.

“The archbishop was correct when he said that science says the embryo is a human being, but I don’t think the public accepts that yet or liberal society leaders,” he said.

“Society is still becoming increasingly secular and increasingly anti-God and I’m not optimistic about that changing soon.

“Quite frankly the challenge is that if we push for, say, increasing the age at which you can get an abortion, or abolishing abortion, will that provoke a reaction from the other side to make abortion more liberal? We need wisdom on how to deal with this and God gives wisdom to guide us on how to take this forward.”

John Deighan, SPUC’s CEO, said the charity has always ‘relied on the great cooperation and support of the Church.’

“As an organisation our values are in tune with those of the Catholic Church,” he said.

“It’s not surprising that a large percentage of our supporters come from the Catholic community, although we have many supporters from the Islamic and evangelical communities too.”

The offices were opened on the feast of St Bartholomew, a saint Jesus said was ‘incapable of deceit.’

Mr Deighan said this ‘epitomises what we do… standing up as a people without deceit, speaking the truth’ on abortion.


Student campaigners

Pro-life campaigner Hannah Patterson, a student at Aberdeen University, said: “It was an amazing day, seeing all the­ support from the public, especially from the youth. SPUC’s efforts inspire us to do more within society and to make sure the pro-life message is passed on.”

Fellow campaigner Hannah O’Neill said: “I was very humbled to be invited to the official opening of the new SPUC and ARCH offices. It’s great to see both organisations have a new home, especially the new space for ARCH. Their vital counselling work can now be done in a comfortable and confidential space.”





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