Yes it is in the news. The Pope has faced opposition over it in Mexico from the large RC contingent there (see Times article). The subject features in a heart-breaking article in the Express entitled “Abortion: let’s start to say no”. from where the following photo is taken. In April a controversial â€œabortion shipâ€ was planning to sail to countries where the practice is illegal and take women out to sea for terminations.
And now Mrs Ann Winterton MP (Con) is introducing a Bill (under the Ten-Minute Rule procedure) to amend the present abortion law in this country. She is supported by pro-life MPs of all parties, including Mr Jim Dobbin (Lab) who is Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group.
The Bill is to be introduced on Tuesday, June 5. Christians are being encouraged to contact their MPs urging them to attend the debate and to support Mrs Winterton.
The Bill, I am sure, will enrage the pro-abortionists but it is really modest in its aims. It seeks to clarify the grounds for abortion as well as ensuring that women who apply for abortion are given balanced counselling. This counselling will ensure that they are properly informed about the possible ill effects of the abortion on their physical and mental health, and also of the alternatives they may follow if they decide to continue with the pregnancy. The Bill will also require women to be given one week after counselling before having the abortion to give them the opportunity to change their minds.
Twice the level of mental health problems and three times the risk of major depressive illness
An unusual slant on this Bill is that it has been recommended by leading psychiatrists and gynaecologists who quote the latest major research project (published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry in January 2006). This shows that even women with no past mental health problems are at greater risk of psychological ill-effects after abortion. In the survey women who had had abortions had twice the level of mental health problems and three times the risk of major depressive illness as those who had given birth or had never been pregnant. This study caused the American Psychological Association last year to withdraw an official statement denying a link between abortion and psychological harm.
One abortion advisory service, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America flatly denies there is any lasting emotional harm done. They say,
Some people who oppose a woman’s right to make her own reproductive decisions claim that abortion often causes long-lasting emotional problems, or “post-abortion syndrome.” There is no scientific proof for these claims.
The present abortion law allows termination to be carried out because of risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman. The Ann Winterton Bill would require the notification form to state specifically whether the abortion was carried out on physical grounds OR on mental grounds. The two would no longer be coupled together making it far easier for those needing to examine the figures.
Will we ever be free of the horror of abortion on demand? As we recently looked back to the abolition of slavery and asked ourselves what similar universally accepted horrors are today’s equivalent I thought of abortion.
DUREX “Safe Play”
I used to be the chairman of a charity which runs a youth centre. I still remember the young teenage girl who, when asked why she seemed a bit down, come out with something that shocked all the workers. A young man found her attractive and she “fancied” him. The problem was, she told us, that she would like a bit of a break from all the sex stuff. She looked to someone for assurance that that was okay, was normal. She clearly felt that what she wanted was abnormal and something she did not dare admit to her peers.
At that time DUREX were manufacturing (and they were available free to all young people in the various youth centres) a condom range with the words “Safe Play” on the packaging, and politicians were asking why teenagers were getting pregnant. She must have been getting some mixed messages.
According to the BBC one school seems to have thrown in the towel on the issue of counselling their young people about safe sexual practices and the options of delay or pause, and have been dishing out morning-after contraceptive pills in abundance.
Among the politically correct brigade there is great emphasis put upon empowering young people to make their own informed choices. Yet those who want to delay their sexual activity or take a break from it are not empowered to so so, they are ridiculed and are often an embarrassment to their teachers and leaders who are reminded of their own once wonderful “liberation” turned sad and empty. So many of those who have turned to abortion as their solution have not been told of the possible metal health consequences that it is now one of the features of the proposed Bill.
She told me of her abortion 50 years before
I still remember the widow in her 70s who told me with sparkling eyes of how Jesus had recently come in to her life and she experienced what it was to be “saved” as the Apostle Paul called it. She told me of her abortion 50 years previously and how she never told the man she later married during their long marriage. She told me of her mental health problems over the years, and the sobbing over the guilt she felt, all alone. I was aware of my privilege, being the first person she had told. And I marvelled as I saw the change in her as she got to know Jesus and experienced his forgiveness.
‘The Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins’ (Mark 2:10)
I was recently preaching on the gospel incident (Mark 2:1-12) of the men lowering their friend through a house roof so that Jesus could heal their friend. I have wondered if they were initially disappointed as, instead of healing, Jesus forgave him of his sins. I have wondered how the man felt as dispute took place around him, and as he felt the forgiveness flooding him. I think the lady I speak of would have had some idea.
If you want more details on how to contact your MP you can find some info on the York Elim church site.