In an April interview with The Catholic Herald, David Cameron, the leader of Britain’s Conservative party, advocated reducing the abortion limit from 24 to 20 or 22 weeks’ gestation. Readers of The Catholic Herald were invited to submit questions for one of Cameron’s first pre-election interviews. “I think that the way medical science and technology have developed in the past few decades does mean that an upper limit of 20 or 22 weeks would be sensible,” said Cameron.
Members of Parliament, he said, would be given a free vote on the issue. Cameron has attempted to align himself with religious voters by promising to give faith schools the freedom to teach sex education in a manner consistent with their values, prohibiting assisted suicide and forbidding the creation of hybrid embryos.
To John Smeaton, the director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, Cameron’s election promises are not what they seem. On his blog, Smeaton noted that “by ‘abortion limit,’ Mr. Cameron only means the 24-week limit for abortions done on social grounds. As he made clear in August 2008, he wants abortion up to birth on disabled children to remain available.” Furthermore, a free vote “will provide the pro-abortion lobby with an opportunity to increase the numbers of abortions.”
Political observers believe the British Parliament will likely refuse to lower the abortion limit, considering a large majority voted against doing so in 2008. Also, if the Conservatives win the election, some predict that many new Tory MPs would be socially liberal. “If so, the result may well be increased pressure to remove restrictions on abortion on demand in early pregnancy.”
Smeaton also warned that “negotiating any lower limit is likely to involve a trade-off with more exceptions being allowed beyond the 24-week limit – up to birth.” This means that there could be more abortions if such so-called limiting legislation comes into existence, especially since only about 750 social abortions occur after 20 or 22 weeks.
Even if it did pass, pro-lifers say doctors can also bypass any restrictions by lying about the gestational age and the reason for abortion.
In the same question-and-answer feature in the Catholic paper, Cameron said he opposed changing the law to permit euthanasia on demand. “My personal view,” he said, “is that that if assisted dying is legalized, there is a danger that terminally ill people may feel pressurised into ending their lives if they feel they’ve become a burden on loved ones. I don’t believe anyone should be put in this position.”
In March, Daily Telegraph columnist and former Conservative party insider Gerald Warner told LifeSiteNews.com that the United Kingdom slide’s into social and moral chaos could only be arrested with a defeat of the Tories, so that the party could return to its Judeo-Christian roots.
Warner, a special adviser to the secretary of state for Scotland under John Major’s government in the 1990s, said a victory under David Cameron would do nothing more than “replace a tired, weak government that has implemented the cultural Marxist agenda of the Frankfurt School with a younger, more energetic one following the same program.”
Warner went on to note that Cameron’s “modernizing” project to move the party to the political centre has alienated traditional party supporters, while at the same time failing to expand support among “progressives” and homosexuals.