To add further to yesterday’s blog, I agree with the majority of what the Cardinal said in his homily.
The Abortion Act of 1967 was based on lies and more lies. It was an appallingly drafted piece of legislation which, under intense pressure from the abortion rights lobby, allowed the present day situation of abortion used as a form of contraception to occur.
I have made it a commitment that throughout my time in parliament I will do all that I can to reduce the number of abortions which take place each day. My objection to the Cardinal’s statement was that I believe his threat to withhold the Holy sacrament from MPs may actually have had the opposite effect and that he may have in fact given further ammunition to the pro choice lobby, who will describe his actions as extreme and irrational and use that argument to discredit all attempts to amend abortion legislation.
As a result of his comments there will be many commentators who will now use the term ‘right wing evangelists’ when describing attempts to limit access to abortion.
Despite the effect of cultural change, which is a necessary part of legislative change, the law has to be amended, and that is a political process.
The majority of politicians are not Christians. In order to persuade them to vote for a change in legislation, the legislation needs to be reasonable and measured. It is unlikely that MPs will vote for a piece of legislation they think may have been coloured or hi-jacked by the Church.
I also do not believe that the Holy Sacrament should be withheld from anyone for any reason. God is, above all things, loving and forgiving.
I know that many of my fellow Christians despair at my inability to condemn all abortion at any stage. To them, abortion is the taking of innocent life, based on the argument that if left uninterrupted a foetus at any stage would grow into full life.
These same friends however, all use various forms of contraception, and in an attempt not to be indelicate, some of which allow eggs to be fertilised and wasted.
It is a logical position that if you condemn all abortion, you must condemn various forms of contraception, if you truly believe that life begins at conception. I cannot do that. So I stay as true to my belief as I can, without hypocrisy or slight of word.
It is interesting that the Cardinal didn’t mention the Catholic Church’s position on contraception in his homily. Maybe because to do so would have been so obviously counterproductive.
The Catholic Church will never be able to alter its position with regard to contraception and nor should it. It has every right to uphold its beliefs also without hypocrisy. I admire the Church for the brave position it takes.
Unfortunately, this in itself compromises the abortion message of the Church, as without the massive world wide use of various forms of contraception, the abortion rate would undoubtedly be much higher.
Of course it is right that the Cardinal preaches the gospel in and out of season, as one of my bloggers commented. However, at this point in time, in this British society, the message is out of beat with the modern values of today.
I do not advocate changing the message but educating society in order to bring it to the point where the message is heard. I simply believe that is best achieved via methods other than threats issued from a pulpit.
As we now have 4D scanning and medical science advancing at the rate it is, maybe one day we will know for sure when life begins.
When we truly know that, there will be no argument as to when and what limit abortion law is set, whether suspended in a safe dark womb or lying in a hospital crib, life is life.
Nadine Dorries is MP for Mid Bedfordshire