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Political Parties

Decriminalising abortion: Labour abandons the Catholic vote

A few weeks ago the Liberal Democrats deselected one of their candidates. Robert Flello, a practising Roman Catholic (and so opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage) was ditched just 36 hours after being selected because “his values diverge from ours”, the Liberal Democrats said.

If a party that calls itself ‘liberal’ is actually anti-Catholic, why should Roman Catholics (or indeed any Christian) vote for them? If one were to scratch beneath the anti-Catholic ‘liberalism’ of the Liberal Democrats, would one find prejudice against all religious people who take their faith seriously? Would they sack a Muslim candidate who articulated the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman? Would they sack one who believed Jews are destined for Jahannam? Is there no freedom of conscience or freedom of belief in the Liberal Democrats? Is there no freedom of religion?

In their General Election Manifesto, they are also pledged to “Complete the introduction of equal marriage” by removing the spousal veto; allowing those marriages that were dissolved solely due to the Gender Recognition process to be retrospectively restored; enabling the Church of England and Church in Wales to conduct same-sex marriages; and introducing legal recognition of humanist marriages.

Quite a few people of all faiths might find that LibDem values diverge from theirs.

Yesterday the Labour Party launched their Manifesto. It includes a commitment to decriminalise abortion. If Parliament deciminalises something, it essentially signals societal acceptance. So the termination of babies in the womb for no medical reason would be lawful right up to the day of birth.

Setting aside that the Labour Manifesto also includes a pledge to allow the self-declaration of gender and no-fault divorce, how can any Roman Catholic vote for a political party which plans to legalise abortion right up to birth? How can any Christian do so? How can Labour’s Roman Catholic parliamentary candidates subscribe to this? What is the lesser evil? Is free broadband worth an abortion holocaust?

There is of course a lot of variation in party support among Roman Catholics: the ‘Catholic vote’ is by no means a uniform bloc. But historically they have certainly inclined toward the left (especially in Scotland) because of inherited tribal affiliation and matters of social justice. There are many for whom ‘sanctity of life‘ issues (such as abortion and assisted suicide) are way down the list of political priorities, but there equally many (and maybe more) for whom the killing of babies in the womb remains an abomination. By pledging to decriminalise abortion altogether, Labour is shifting from the ‘protective’ 1967 settlement of medical cause (and control) to termination on tap. Society would not only be terminating ‘foetuses’ and evacuating the ‘product of conception’, we would be murdering babies in the womb. Labour are now pledged to create the most liberal abortion regime in the world under the guise of women’s reproductive rights.

If a baby has the right to life after breathing its first air, why does it not have a right to life after respiring in its last day of amniotic fluid?

How can any Christian, in conscience, support this?