Huge shake up in Parliament: There’s pro-life work to be done
12 December 2019
The General Election has resulted in a huge shake-up of the parliamentary arithmetic. “There’s pro-life work to be done,” says SPUC, which is calling on its supporters to take action now to find out where new MPs stand on the key pro-life issues of abortion decriminalisation and assisted suicide.
More pro-life MPs?
SPUC’s Director of Campaigns Antonia Tully said: “No prominent pro-life MP on the mainland has lost their seat. Anti-life MPs who lost their seat include Anna Soubry, Paula Sherriff, Chuka Umuna and Dennis Skinner.”
Successful candidates who told SPUC supporters that they would vote to oppose decriminalising abortion and assisted suicide include, James Grundy (Con. Leigh), Ruth Edwards (Con. Rushcliffe), and Greg Smith (Con. Buckingham). “Now they are MPs, SPUC supporters must make sure that that they stick to their pre-election statements,” said Antonia Tully.
Commenting on the election result, SPUC CEO, John Smeaton said: “The Conservative party has won their biggest parliamentary majority since 1987. Whilst it is good that the party forming the new Government does not have a policy to decriminalise abortion, we must learn the lessons of history.
“Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government elected by a huge majority in 1987 had no party policy on abortion. However, they introduced legislation which, with their backing, legalised abortion up to birth and human embryo research.”
SPUC Scotland, CEO, John Deighan said: “There are many marginal seats in Scotland and the pro-life vote is therefore important. It is very significant that Jo Swinson the leader of the Lib-Dems with a manifesto commitment to extend abortion has lost her seat in Scotland.
“The collapse of the Labour party is another significant dimension of the result. The Labour party also took a radical pro-abortion position in its manifesto and Labour now seems to have truly lost swathes of traditional votes that it once relied on in Scotland.”
SPUC’s Northern Ireland Political Officer, Liam Gibson, said: “Northern Ireland now has four new MPs who advocate the decriminalisation of abortion. Three of these will take their seats in the House of Commons.
“However, it will be the Stormont Assembly election expected in the Spring which will be decisive for efforts to repeal Section 9 of the Northern Ireland Executive Formation Act 2019 and the restoration of legal protection for unborn children in the Province.
“The role of pro-life MPs within the Conservative Party will also be essential in any attempt to block the extremist agenda which Boris Johnson’s government was pushing through in Northern Ireland before the election. This agenda threatens to impose on the Province the most extreme abortion regime in Europe but it is merely the first step in the decriminalisation of abortion in England, Scotland and Wales.
In conclusion, John Smeaton said: “Pro-lifers must also vigorously oppose a political deal on abortion – allowing abortion up to so many weeks’ gestation with the inevitable exceptions up to birth. This was the tragic mistaken deal backed by pro-life groups in 1990. It’s both unethical and led to abortion up to birth. The pro-life movement must never again trade the lives of unborn children to reach a political settlement on abortion.”
You can read John Smeaton’s full analysis of the historic lessons we must heed here.