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Abortion Clinic - Copyright Burger / Phanie / REX
UK News

Pressure mounts on MSPs to debate abortion law as Free Church joins calls for change

Moderator Revd David Robertson said the "evil of abortion" had to be ended with a "more enlightened conversation" at Holyrood.

Abortion law will be devolved to Scotland in a package of new powers being sent from London following the 2014 independence referendum.

When the announcement was made one of the leading Christian charities, CARE, also called for the time limit to be reviewed by Scottish politicians.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already stressed her SNP government will make no changes to the law which allows terminations up to 24 weeks.

Revd Robertson said: "Do the proponents of abortion realise that there is no "right to abortion" in UK law? In fact abortion on demand is illegal.

"The 1967 Act allows for abortion where the mental or physical wellbeing of the mother is at risk.

"It was intended to provide abortion as an exception, not as an alternative to contraception.

"Given that babies can survive at 24 weeks outside the womb, is there any scientific or logical reason not to reduce the age limit? Are France, Germany and Italy with their 12-week limits any less 'progressive' than Scotland?"

Scottish Secretary David Mundell accepted that people feel very strongly about abortion but added there was no "convincing constitutional reason for why abortion law should not be devolved".

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament in September that her government would write to women's groups to confirm no change in the law.

Revd Robertson added: "Today we look with horror at how 'civilised' society could acquiesce in and support the evil of slavery.

"In the future I believe we will look back with horror at the way that society, despite our increased scientific knowledge about the status of the child in the womb, has acquiesced in the evil of abortion.

"If we want a more enlightened approach then perhaps we need to begin a more enlightened conversation, with people on all sides trying to think about the welfare of all people, and not just the fundamentalist views of their particular political or religious tribe.

"Or is that a conversation too far for our tolerant liberals and 'compassionate' conservatives?"

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