Lib Dem “abortion tourism” plans slammed by pro-life group

21 November 2019

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The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has condemned the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto pledges on abortion.

The party promises to expand abortion provision vastly by removing it from the criminal law, imposing draconian censorship zones around clinics, and providing free abortions for foreign nationals.

Michael Robinson, SPUC’s Director of Parliamentary Communications and Campaigns said: “Abortion providers already receive millions of pounds for performing taxpayer funded abortions, so it is quite incredible that the Liberal Democrats are promising to fund abortions on women who might not even be eligible for genuine healthcare in this country. If no regard is given to nationality or residency, what is to stop women getting a cheap flight to end their baby’s life at the British taxpayer’s expense?”

Mr Robinson continued: “All these commitments are based on the lie that access to abortion is a human right. There is no right to abortion in any human rights convention anywhere in the world. However, Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that everyone has the right to life, and the Declaration of the Rights of the Child states explicitly that ’the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth’.

“The rights of the unborn child are completely ignored in these manifesto pledges. Decriminalising abortion further removes legal protection from the unborn children, meaning they can have their lives ended for any reason, at least up until the time they are capable of being born alive.

“What’s more, the Lib Dems want to stop people at pro-life vigils offering help to women outside abortion clinics; women who might desperately want to keep their babies but feel they have no choice. In a bitter irony, the women most often helped by pro-life vigils have uncertain status or no right to receive benefits and so feel that abortion is their only option. What is liberal or democratic about offering free abortions but denying these women any other help or choices?”

SPUC is running an election campaign calling on supporters to ask their candidates how they would vote on decriminalising abortion and legalising assisted suicide.

Notes to editors

The Liberal Democrat manifesto says:

  • We believe that everyone has a right to make independent decisions over their reproductive health without interference by the state, and that access to reproductive healthcare is a human right. We will:
  • Decriminalise abortion across the UK while retaining the existing 24-week limit and legislate for access to abortion facilities within Northern Ireland.
  • Enforce safe zones around abortion clinics, make intimidation or harassment of abortion service users and staff outside clinics, or on common transport routes to these services, illegal.
  • Fund abortion clinics to provide their services free of charge to service users regardless of nationality or residency.

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