Published: 22nd March 2005
The Evangelical Alliance has today called for an open debate on lowering the legal limit on abortions in light of new scientific research and public disquiet over the current law.
Joel Edwards, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance said, "Evidence proves current thinking on abortion laws is not in line with existing research. As it stands babies of similar age that have the same chances of survival do not have equal rights when it comes to living. One can be aborted if inside the womb, the other can receive full neonatal care if outside it. This is not fair or right."
The Alliance, together with its partner organisations Christian Medical Fellowship and CARE believe it's time the public looked again at the abortion facts. Abortion is legal in the UK until 24 weeks for reasons of preserving the mother's 'mental health' and right up until the time of birth for 'serious handicap'.
Peter Saunders, General Secretary of CMF said, "Recent research carried out at the University of Minnesota published in the journal, 'Paediatrics' in 2004 found that two out of three [66%] babies born at 23 weeks during 1996-2000 survived with good neonatal care. It is incomprehensible that abortions are carried out at this age in the UK for often what amounts to purely social reasons. We have now reached a situation in the UK where many doctors and nurses would welcome a further reduction over and above the 20 week limit being mooted. We know that many in the medical profession feel uncomfortable performing late abortions and most over 18 weeks are contracted out by the NHS to the private sector."
Roger Smith, Head of Public Policy at CARE said, "Rowan Williams is right when he speaks of 'anguished decisions' regarding abortion. Each day, our pregnancy advice centres see women who feel trapped by their circumstances and who believe they have no choice other than to abort. Women ask for support and accurate information so that all the options can be considered, including keeping the child or placing the child for adoption. More public debate about the choices available to women is vital."
Steven Fouch (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9668
Alistair Thompson on 07970 162 225
Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 5,000 doctors, 900medical and nursing students and 300 nurses and midwives as members in all branches of medicine, nursing and midwifery. A registered charity, it is linked to over 100 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.
CMF exists to unite Christian healthcare professionals to pursue the highest ethical standards in Christian and professional life and to increase faith in Christ and acceptance of his ethical teaching.