The Liberal Democrats have pledged to ‘decriminalise’ abortion through to 24-weeks right across the UK in their recently released manifesto.
The party also promised to impose draconian censorship zones around clinics and provide free abortions for foreign nationals.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has slammed the Liberal Democrats’ commitments, noting that they are all based on “the lie that access to abortion is a human right”. The pro-life group also accused the party of “completely ignoring” the rights of the unborn child in their manifesto pledges.
“There is no right to abortion in any human rights convention anywhere in the world,” said Michael Robinson, SPUC’s director of parliamentary communications and campaigns. “However, Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that everyone has the right to life, and the Declaration of the Rights of the Child states explicitly that ‘the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth’.”
Mr Robinson added: “Decriminalising abortion further removes legal protection from the unborn children, meaning they can have their lives ended for any reason, at least up until the time they are capable of being born alive.”
He strongly criticised the Liberal Democrats’ “abortion tourism” plans, as well as their promise to impose censorship zones around abortion clinics, noting that vulnerable women will be made to feel as though they have no choice but to opt for an abortion.
“Abortion providers already receive millions of pounds for performing taxpayer funded abortions, so it is quite incredible that the Liberal Democrats are promising to fund abortions on women who might not even be eligible for genuine healthcare in this country. If no regard is given to nationality or residency, what is to stop women getting a cheap flight to end their baby’s life at the British taxpayer’s expense?” Mr Robinson said.
“What’s more, the Lib Dems want to stop people at pro-life vigils offering help to women outside abortion clinics; women who might desperately want to keep their babies but feel they have no choice. In a bitter irony, the women most often helped by pro-life vigils have uncertain status or no right to receive benefits and so feel that abortion is their only option. What is liberal or democratic about offering free abortions but denying these women any other help or choices?”
The release of the Liberal Democrat manifesto follows the party’s decision to deselect Catholic former Labour MP Rob Flello, stating that his views on abortion and same-sex marriage were incompatible with their party’s ethos.
Former Liberal MP and now cross-bench peer, Lord Alton, last week told The Catholic Universe that the party’s decision was “a chilling and disturbing reminder of how illiberal Liberal Democracy has become”.
Picture: Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson during the launch of her party’s manifesto at FEST, Stables Market in Camden ahead of the General Election. (Yui Mok/PA).