Abortion has always been a controversial issue in the UK especially since David Steel's Liberal Party Abortion Act was passed in 1967. The rest of this blog post is concerned with moral issues raised by legalised abortion and not of course with the actions of individual girls and women who have their own lives to live and decisions to make, about which no one else is qualified to pass judgment. Thus if a woman is raped and becomes pregnant as a consequence, who can even consider passing any judgment upon her personal decision to seek an abortion?
Certainly this blog-post passes no personal or individual judgments and is limited to academic but fundamentally important issues.
The following extract from a very recent article in the Indy really supports the position that abortion is wrong though the Independent itself has previously signified its support for a "woman's right to choose" over the rights of the unborn foetus:
The practice of sex-selective abortion is now so commonplace that it has affected the natural 50:50 balance of boys to girls within some immigrant groups and has led to the “disappearance” of between 1,400 and 4,700 females from the national census records of England and Wales, we can reveal.
A government investigation last year found no evidence that women living in the UK, but born abroad, were preferentially aborting girls. However, our deeper statistical analysis of data from the 2011 National Census has shown widespread discrepancies in the sex ratio of children in some immigrant families, which can only be easily explained by women choosing to abort female foetuses in the hope of becoming quickly pregnant again with a boy.
The above extract makes plain one of the major flaws in the womans right to choose lobby's viewpoint about abortion being freely available, quite apart from any religious or moral dimension.
If it is for a woman to choose whether or not to abort the foetus surely the reason for her decision becomes irrelevant? Thus if she aborts the foetus because she learns that the unborn baby is a girl, why would that be so much worse than aborting the foetus because she feels that her career would be hindered by having a child at this time?
The Indy's article continued by stating:
Abortions based solely on gender are illegal in Britain and in many other countries, even those where the practice is widespread. In parts of India and China there are now as many as 120 or 140 boys for every 100 girls despite a ban on sex-selective abortion.
Amartya Sen, the Indian-born economist and Nobel laureate who warned 25 years ago about the tens of millions of “missing women” in the world, said gender-based abortions are a new form of sex discrimination. “Selective abortion of female foetuses – what can be called ‘natality discrimination’ – is a kind of high-tech manifestation of preference for boys,” Professor Sen said.
The moment one suggests that a woman's reason for seeking an abortion should be outlawed then the issue of the morality of her choice for seeking an abortion is raised. Logically why should the choice of a pregnant woman to seek a son rather than a daughter be any less acceptable to mankind than the choice of a pregnant woman to further her own career over allowing her child of either gender to be born?
If the legislature or medical profession precludes a woman from having an abortion for some reasons but not others then the issue of morality inevitably arises. What morality should prevail in issues of this kind; and why?
Add to the above the general lack of babies available for adoption even though that is a practical rather than a moral issue, and one can see that David Steel's Act and its subsequent development was 'misconceived'.
Secular logic about this issue in my humble opinion is obviously wrong. Traditional Christian morality is clear and simple. Abortion kills and is wrong.