British Parliamentarian Lord Alton of Liverpool has called the decision by the Royal College of Midwives to campaign for the legalization of abortion up-to-birth a “complete travesty” that brings the “noble midwifery profession into disrepute.”
In a statement released May 17 by the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, Lord Alton said the decision underlines the irrationality of abortion rights “when those responsible for bringing new human lives into the world should now be coerced into killing babies at the moment of birth.”
The cross bench peer, who regularly speaks on issues affecting human rights, human life and human dignity, said it would also “undermine the confidence of expectant mothers in the women who deliver their babies.” He added that we should “pause to question” the activism of those pushing for abortion rights as the U.K. draws closer to the 50th anniversary since abortion was legalized in the country, leading to 8 million abortions.
On May 6, the Royal College of Midwives issued a statement explicitly supporting a campaign run by abortion provider the British Pregnancy Advisory Service calling for the legalization of abortion up-to-birth for any reason, as well as the limitation of conscience rights for midwives, and the extension of the Abortion Act 1967 to Northern Ireland.
Abortion up to birth would include sex-selective abortion and abortion of babies with disabilities. Only China, North Korea, Vietnam and Canada have such permissive abortions laws. It also comes at a time when, according to a 2012 poll, only 2% of women want the time limit to be extended to more than 24 weeks in contrast to 59% of women who favoured a reduction in time limits.
The Royal College, whose chief executive, Cathy Warwick, is also head of BPAS’s board of trustees, did not consult its members before adopting this extreme position.
The DHI is urging pro-lifers to sign a recent petition that has already garnered more than 20,000 signatures in less than two days.
Follow is the full text of Lord Alton’s statement, released through the DHI:
“This decision by the activists who control the Royal College of Midwives – and who are not themselves midwives – to use the Royal College to campaign for the legalisation of abortion up-to-birth is a complete travesty. It brings the noble midwifery profession into disrepute. It underlines how irrational the push for abortion rights has become when those responsible for bringing new human lives into the world should now be coerced into killing babies at the moment of birth.
“The RCM’s support for the BPAS campaign, decided without consulting its members, will undermine the confidence of expectant mothers in the women who deliver their babies.
“And, as we approach the fiftieth anniversary of laws which in the UK have led to 8 million abortions, surely we should pause to question activism which exalts the false notion of individual freedom, autonomy and choice over the inviolable right to life of every human being, especially the voiceless and vulnerable unborn child.”