There is an anniversary upon us. A 50th anniversary. One that conservatives or Christians or lovers of human life cannot celebrate, no indeed! It shall be marked, it shall be commemorated. Of course, I am referring to the Abortion Act 1967. The splendid Ann Widdecombe, former Conservative MP and minister, has put her shoulder behind the Pro-Life Alliance’s spiffing cause of having bells rung from every church, be it a Gothic Revival designed by Pugin or a Norman pile in Worcestershire, on Sunday October 29. This is a glorious and sublime notion to mark a rather unsavoury Act. Miss Widdecombe noted that ‘more than eight million unborn children have been taken from the womb since then. That’s the equivalent of the population of London’. The eight million figure is the UK only; some recent estimates have the worldwide figure of 40-50million. Other wise voices have been heard on the topic of abortion, including the Honourable Member for North East Somerset, Jacob Rees-Mogg. He said: ‘I am completely opposed to abortion. Life is sacrosanct and begins at the point of conception . . . abortion is morally indefensible.’ I was delighted to hear a politician stick to his guns and eloquently defend his principles and the sanctity of human life. I was hear-hearing all the way through the interview.

At any rate, why would the Church be interested in this anniversary? Why should Christians back the Pro-Life Alliance’s call for the tolling of bells? Well, let me have a swing at that googly.

First of all, let me clear up one thing. Abortion is still illegal in the UK under the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861, and the 1967 Abortion Act made abortion legally permissible only in very limited circumstances. Unfortunately, the reading and interpretation of this Act has become very loose and wide. So much so that Miss Widdecombe has said that those who voted for the Act in 1967 would have been ‘absolutely horrified’ at the way it is being implemented. The safeguards, unfortunately, are being trampled on like an American storekeeper opening his shutters on Black Friday.

Anyhow, please excuse the digression. Churches should get behind this, because life is a gift from God, and is therefore sacred and ought to be celebrated and protected. King David acknowledges: ‘Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me’ (Psalm 51:5). In this acknowledgment, he makes clear two foundational Christian truths: (i) original sin and (ii) human life begins at conception. Let me reinforce this with a passage from Jeremiah (1:5): ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.’ Again, life is before birth. Consequently, abortion at any stage of gestation is the taking of human life, and thus is contravening the Sixth Commandment, which is: Thou shalt not kill [murder] (Deuteronomy 5:17). You can see where I am going with this. It is fundamental to Christian doctrine, beliefs, values, call it what you will, to support, to cherish, to glory in human life.

I would suggest the most worrisome, disconcerting, downright folly of the Abortion Act 1967 is section 1, which details the conditions, or grounds, under which a medical termination of a pregnancy may occur. This ground in particular that states if ‘there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped’. Meaning that a disabled child may be terminated right up to the point of birth. Yes, till birth. The honourable Lord Shinkwin introduced a private member’s Bill to House of Lords to correct this folly, but unfortunately the Bill did not pass the chamber. This is where we should focus our efforts.

Furthermore, I believe that allowing abortion on the grounds of disability up to birth sends a clear message to the disabled and to the rest of society. This is the message: your life is not as valuable as a non-disabled person, and you are not as valuable to society at large. Of course, this is most certainly unacceptable. We are all unique, and all human life is sanctified, because ‘God created man in his own image’ (Genesis 1:27).

The 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act 1967 is an anniversary we should mark and we ought to think about and pray for those eight million lives that have been lost, and for all those family members that have been adversely affect by the Act. I cannot truly think of a better and more significant way of commemorating the Act than having the beautiful bells tolling away like billy-o on Sunday October 29. I say, let them ring!


  1. “These days, contraception is abortion, because the third-generation Pills cannot be shown to prevent sperm fertilising an ovum.* …
    IUDs are clearly abortifacient: these devices work by creating inflammation of the uterus, often accompanied by infection. Women who accept them as contraceptive devices are actually being equipped with a do-it-yourself abortionist’s tool. The outcome is frequent occult abortion, heavy bleeding and pelvic inflammatory disease, with the accompanying elevated risk of ectopic pregnancy.
    Whether you feel that the creation and wastage of so many embryos is an important issue or not, you must see that the cynical deception of millions of women by selling abortifacients as if they were contraceptives is incompatible with the respect due to women as human beings. ” Germaine Greeer

  2. Not sure if people on the street will understand why the bells are ringing. What I do know is that our church leaders are more than happy to parade their credentials on popular causes like climate change or poverty – but deafening silence when it comes to the slaughter of the unborn and the silent shameful unspoken grief of of their mothers and families.

  3. When you have the Royal College of Midwives supporting abortion up to the point of birth, you know you are in trouble as a country.
    The list is now long of abnormalities for which NHS staff recommend abortion. Cleft palette is one that I personally have experience of through my daughter ringing me up in a distraught state after a scan where abortion was advised. She ignored that advice. I have a wonderful grandson whose cleft was operated on at 3 months old. No one even notices the scar. When on holiday in Germany earlier this year my daughter noticed a cleft baby being pushed in a pram. She smiled and said what a lovely baby. They looked surprised and she drew her son over to them and told them this was her cleft baby. They burst into tears and shook her hand and through translation said she had made their day. We have to stop and consider how we are different from the Nazis in their quest for the perfection oh humanity.

  4. If anything Sunday 29th October should be used to highlight that the ‘slippery slope’ argument holds true against many ‘progressives’ views.

    What starts as limited abortion on compassionate grounds, very quickly mushrooms into a scale of abortion that owes nothing to compassion and everything to utilitarianism (A similar pattern is used for euthanasia). Statistically rare but very sad cases are highlighted and then used to drive a change in law that has implications far beyond the very few. Once approved in law the boundaries will be pushed and stretched, assisted suicide for example will become first acceptable although extreme alternative and then I fear a ‘treatment’ option in increasingly larger numbers of cases.

    • The problem is, thoose compassionate grounds are morally right. Someone terminally ill, wich only treatment is pain managment till they die (mostly cancer). To allow them to just go to sleep and not wake upp. That is a mercy. Nothing scares humans more then pain, not even death. And 3-6 months of just constant unbearable pain before inevitable death. You should be allowed to escape that.

  5. The first ground for allowing abortion in the 1967 Act was:
    “(a) that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to
    the life of the pregnant woman, or of injury to the physical or mental
    health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family,
    greater than if the pregnancy were terminated.
    (My italics.) Some doctors might say that continuing the pregnancy is always arguably more dangerous than abortion. The pro-abortionists were always clear in their mind about what they were doing, and it is a disgrace to Parliament that such a sloppy piece of legislation was allowed through.

    • Given the great obstetric and medically advances in British heatlh care – I am still puzzled as to what medical grounds qualifies as a danger to the mother. I never hear pro-abortionists name a single one.

      On the other hand I can think of situations applicable to todays amoral promiscuous society, think of situations caused by weakening the family, marriage and values – whereby the pregnant female is carry a child of someone who is not their husband.

      • You still have the child literally poisoning the mother, wich is something that can be fixed, but carries verry high risk of serious injury or death (for both parties involved). Then there are some conditions wich will make the infants life hell on earth for the little time it will have in this world (its basically a mercy to terminate the life before it begins). Rare conditions, but they do happen. Then theres incest and rape. However at least in rape cases, i think the law should be much much more strict, and moral in its wording and implementation. Abortion should definatly be allowed there, at least to me slavery (wich is what forcing someone to do something they had no say in and was forced upon them) is worse then death, but it should come with punishment. If you rape someone, and it produces a child, that then gets aborted. You should be charged with rape and murder.

        As for promiscuity. Abortion has little if anything to do with that. That honor has to go to the birth controll pill.

        But then there has to be some pragmatism there. Limited choice abortion will probably have to stay forever, because we know the alternative to legal abortion. Just make it strict (12 weeks or something), so no side is happy with it. Morally not good. Realistically, it does good.

        • Some of the tests for inherited disease don’t work until after that. Look up mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS). The current time of 24 weeks is about right.

          • The timeframe is for choice abortion. You do not exactly choose to abort if the baby is either non viable, or the mother can die from the pregnancy. Thoose offcourse would be exempt from the time limit.

  6. Of course it was far better to force young girls to stay pregnant so the Catholics could flog the babies to rich Americans. Their business model has been dismantled.

  7. The trouble with this subject for the person who can empathise with both sides of the argument is that all you see stretching in either direction is a field strewn with bear traps and mines and a perimeter of machine gun nests!

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