Today I need some help. The 25th October is the 50th anniversary of the UK’s Abortion Act 1967. And I have undertaken to write on that day a somewhat longer column than usual in the Catholic Herald on the subject. It is important for me to know how thinking people view this issue nowadays. And I do so in the light of the recent British Social Attitudes survey that 61 per cent of Catholics favour legalised abortion.
There are several issues to discuss here, and my suggestions are by no means exhaustive. But here we go.
What are the strongest arguments against the legalisation of abortion?
What are the strongest arguments for the legalisation of abortion?
Does the Act achieve the control of abortion it proclaims or is it in practice a free pass to abortion?
Should Catholics condemn abortion simply out of obedience to the Church’s firm teaching, or should they be deciding as a matter of conscience?
The percentage of Catholics favouring legalised abortion has been increasing and now includes a majority of those who claim to be Catholic. Why is this?
I have an impression that those who oppose legalised abortion are increasingly seen as extremists or, more kindly, as oddballs. But always politically incorrect. The issue now is not focussed on the baby but on the rights of the mother.
The account at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_Kingdom#England_and_Wales is comprehensive but conveniently it starts with the key reasons which justify abortion.