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England and Wales: Bishops on abortion bill, “UK will have most extreme legislation in Europe”


Mgr. John Sherrington, in charge of life issues for the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, has called on the Catholic faithful and the British citizens in general to write to their MPs urging them to oppose an amendment to the legislation which would allow abortion on demand, for any reasons, up to 28 weeks into a pregnancy. In a statement, the Bishop warned of the risk that “a proposed amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill”, which is to be discussed by Parliament in Westminster on Monday, 6 July, could “leave the UK with the most extreme abortion legislation” in Europe. “This is being presented as decriminalising abortion – the Bishop wrote – but it would, if carried, do far more than that. There is currently an attempt by some MPs to table an amendment to the Bill to repeal sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861”. This “would leave the UK with the most extreme abortion legislation in Europe, where in nearly all countries the time limit for abortion is 12 weeks. The majority of our fellow citizens would like to see the current 24-week limit reduced, not increased”. Bishop Sherrington also noted that if the amendment was carried, it would become “impossible for medical practitioners to exercise conscientious objection”.

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