UK: 50 Years Legalized Abortion
Friday, October 27, 2017

Today is the United Kingdom’s January 22. October 27, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act which legalized abortion in England, Scotland and Wales. At the time, the law was presented as only being for extreme and rare circumstances, however, time soon demonstrated that the slippery slope of legalized abortion was far from rare and performance of abortion grew into a lucrative industry. It is estimated twenty abortions are performed every hour in the UK, about one every three minutes.


Across the United Kingdom pro-life advocates remembered the over 8.8 million lives that have been lost due to the Abortion Act while members of Parliament and pro-lifers gathered at Parliament to hold a moment of silence.


Lord David Alton, Member of the House of Lords, began his speech, Truth Must Speak to Power, recalling the moment when abortion was legalized:


“50 years ago, at 11:05am on the morning of Friday the 27th of October 1967, the Speaker of the House of Commons declared that Royal Assent from Her Majesty the Queen had been given to David Steel’s abortion Bill. The Abortion Act 1967 would come into effect six months later on the 27th of April 1968.


“Since then, 8,894,355 abortions have been carried out, and at least that number of unborn children have lost their lives. I say ‘at least’, because of course some single abortions will have been carried out on twins, or triplets, or other multiple pregnancies.”


In commenting on the 8,894,355 abortions, Lord Alton put the number in an historical perspective, “To put that in context, the Second World War, the worst and most bloody conflict ever visited upon this country, claimed 450,290 British lives. Abortion has caused more human destruction in the UK than Nazi Germany, and in all the conflicts and tragedies of our history, only the Black Death has extinguished a greater proportion of our nation. The number is three times the population of Wales – it represents a life lost every 3 minutes; 20 every single hour.”


Alton lamented, “And upon whom is this everyday violence visited? No-one less than the most innocent, and most vulnerable members of our society: children in the womb.


“And it is done by the most barbaric means. Whether it is tearing her body apart piece-by-piece by strong plier-like instruments in ‘Dilation and Evacuation’ or by a powerful suction machine in ‘Vacuum Aspiration’, or whether it is simply starving her to death by chemically-induced miscarriage, abortion is an act of the cruellest destruction.


“This savagery actually takes place in Great Britain in 2017. At a time when we pride ourselves on our liberalism, our humanity, our civilisation, our compassion. In an age where human comfort for the average Briton has never been easier, and the welfare of almost every individual has at least been paid lip-service by the existence of a welfare state and a modern economy, however flawed in practice either of those might be.


“What we mark today then, is nothing less than the greatest shame of our nation. The fact that we neuter the protections in our laws for our tiniest countrymen and countrywomen is a horror and disgrace on a massive scale.”


The tragic number of abortions in the UK pales in comparison to the United States where in a shorter time period, 44 years, over 60 million abortions have ended the lives of precious children and caused physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual harm to their mothers.


Lord Alton ended his remarks with a message that resonates with all who are engaged in the human rights struggle of our time:


“I have been in this battle for decades of my life, and I may never see the day when the abolition of abortion occurs. But I know that one day it will, and to the next generation, I say: I don’t want you to be standing here in another 50 years lamenting another 8 million lives lost. The torch of compassion and human progress is now passing to you.


“We must work to end this killing in your lifetime, and we can only do that if every person here takes seriously the role they must play in making sure that this happens.


“With courage, with integrity, with a passion for the best principles of our civilisation firing our efforts, let us rededicate ourselves to making sure that by the time the centennial commemoration of the Abortion Act is marked, our society will be one in which human equality and dignity is so fully respected and protected, that the violence of abortion will be consigned to where every human abuse and cruelty ultimately belongs: in the dustbin of our history.”


“Our forebears who fought against chattel slavery, child labour, and the denial of civil and political rights to vulnerable minorities did not give in to the sometimes overwhelming and powerful opponents of their missions.


“Neither will we.


“That is why those of us who stand here today are present, together. We are here to signify that we are not going away, that we are not going to remain quiet whilst injustice occurs, and we are not going to stop working, and educating, and campaigning, and fighting, till we live in a society where the humanity, dignity, and rights of every member of our nation are together recognized.”

PNCI expresses its profound appreciation to David Alton for his stirring words which inspire pro-lifers around the world and for his tireless commitment to ending abortion and defending the right to life from conception to natural death.