By Dave Andrusko
Back in November, NRL News Today wrote about the aftermath of the British House of Commons’ 350 to 183 vote to grant the Scottish Parliament control over abortion laws (it’s called “devolving abortion policy”).
Although the Scottish government has consistently said it planned no change in the abortion law, both sides–but especially pro-lifers–believe a change is in the offing.
That’s why the formation of a new umbrella pro-life group “Don’t Stop A Beating Heart” is so significant.
The group’s coordinator is the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children Scotland and, according to STV News (Scotland), it “is supported by the Catholic Church in Scotland, the Muslim Council of Scotland and the Free Church of Scotland, among others.” The group “says it has brought Scotland’s pro-life groups under the same banner for the first time and is ‘a significant show of strength.’”
“The rights of the unborn child are facing new threats with the impending devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament from Westminster,” said John Deighan, chief executive of SPUC Scotland and campaign co-ordinator. “Already, well in advance of the transfer of legislative authority, we are hearing a clamour for further extension of the existing, excessively liberal law,” which, he said, “could see abortion legalised from the existing 24-week limit, in most cases, up until the point of birth.”
Deighan added, “In response to these deeply disconcerting demands, pro-life supporters from different backgrounds, people of faith and none, in addition to concerned organisations and individuals have decided that we must stand together in the face of this onslaught.”
STV News reported on other major allies:
Scotland’s most senior Catholic archbishop, Philip Tartaglia, said: “I wholeheartedly support the aims of the Don’t Stop A Beating Heart campaign to defend and protect unborn human life and to call legislators not to further extend abortion time limits.”
Muslim Council of Scotland director Salah Beltagui said: “We are committed to defending all human life and I genuinely believe that we will prevail in this crucially important fight for the rights of unborn children.”
The coalition also includes the Abortion Recovery Care and , Christian charity Care and Cardinal Winning’s Prolife Initiative.
In addition, Reverend David Robertson, moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, said
“As we approach 50 years of the disastrous Abortion Act of 1967 we have seen a degradation of life and a war on the disabled in the womb, where a diagnosis of Down’s syndrome or spina bifida is very often a death sentence.”
Pro-abortionists insist the move for change would come from pro-lifers and “could undermine the consensus on the current time limit of 24 weeks,” according to Judith Duffy of the Herald Scotland.
“If abortion law is devolved, which it looks like it will be, I think it is likely there will be a series of negative moves – similar to the way the American anti-abortion organisations are now working – to chip away at little bits and pieces.”