1 September 2021
By Lucy Ashton
The Scottish government has been accused of by the Catholic Church in Scotland of breaking with convention and deliberately diminishing the views of thousands of individuals who responded to a consultation on home abortions in July.
In a strongly worded critique, the Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan, has condemned the decision to nullify the responses of the majority of people who took part in the consultation and opposed the government’s stance.
Mr Horan writes: “Only 17 per cent of submissions to the home abortion consultation supported home abortions being made permanent.
“A total of 61 per cent wanted them ended and 74 per cent believed they had a negative impact on the safety of women.
An unborn child in the womb of an expectant mother.
“Additionally, more than 600 medical professionals signed an open letter to the Scottish, Welsh and English governments calling for an end to “at-home” abortion because of concerns about abortions occurring beyond the ten-week limit and about women and girls being coerced into an abortion against their will.”
He added: “Yet, despite this, the Scottish Government shockingly sought to downplay those individuals who raised concerns, labelling a significant number of the responses as ‘organised by pro-life or faith groups’ as if to downgrade their importance. The same treatment was not given to pro-abortion groups.”
Mr Horan describes the Scottish Government’s publication last week of its Women’s Health Plan which sets out the government’s intention to “make telephone and video consultation universally available as an option for abortion services” as a “deeply concerning” development.
He says this undermines the government’s own commitment to “commission an independent evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the current approach, including in relation to safety”.
Mr Horan describes the Scottish government as being “hell bent on making the (home abortion) arrangements permanent” and claims “the Scottish Government is risking the health and well-being of vulnerable women and their unborn children, and riding roughshod over democratic convention.
“It is dangerous for women, and it is dangerous for democracy.”
The SNP locally refuses to comment to The Dumbarton Democrat.
Mr Deighan stepped up today, September 1st, to become the organisation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
He comes to his new position armed with a strong track record in political campaigning and media engagement on ethical issues over almost 30 years at both the Scottish and Westminster Parliaments.
Outlining his hopes for SPUC, Mr Deighan said: “My vision is simple, I want to see an end to abortion and I am truly committed to that end. I believe the skills and resources we have in SPUC can be harnessed coherently for that effort. For too long, the pro-life issue has not been given the attention proportionate to its fundamental importance as the human rights issue of our age.
Mr Deighan, pictured right, added: “The enormous strength we have always had at SPUC is our massive grassroots community and how we mobilise those supporters to exert influence on our political leaders. We will continue to grow that community and invest more in online outreach and social media advertising.
“I believe SPUC is in an excellent position to build on our position as the leading grassroots pro-life organisation in the UK, with a powerful international reputation. I am determined to carry that effort forward at a time when society has never needed us so urgently.”
“This is my pledge”
Emphasising the organisation’s role in 2021, he said: “SPUC is a leader in the pro-life movement, both in the UK and around the world. Historically, we have shown that we have been willing to stand up even with the odds stacked against us.
“Indeed, we have seen that in the time of the constitutional amendments in Ireland, in maintaining pro-life legislation in Northern Ireland for over five decades, and in the court cases throughout the UK and Europe that we have participated in.
“When a creeping culture of death has damaged society, we have stood up and witnessed to the dignity of every person and promoted fundamental rights like those of conscience, adequate care for the sick, rights for parents and much more. In so doing, we have shown bravery, leadership and had a great effect.
“Over the years we have shown leadership and courage – and courage encourages others. When everyone becomes passive and accepting of the continual encroachment of the values that we see destroying our society, they need leaders, and that is what has always attracted me to SPUC.
“It is that foundation that I am determined to build on and to adhere to that vision that we have supported. I am committed to the pro-life cause and aim to ensure SPUC continues to be effective in communicating the importance of the cause to others.
“I will continue to work enthusiastically to create and develop opportunities to enhance initiatives’ effectiveness to promote justice for the unborn and the vulnerable. This is my pledge.”