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Cardinal's comment on result of House of Commons vote on changes to the abortion law
posted on 21 May 2008

Comment by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-OConnor, Archbishop of Westminster 

Many people of all faiths and none will have been very disappointed by the result of last nights votes on the abortion time limit.  But this issue will not go away.  Whilst the law affects attitudes, it does not in itself compel anyone to have an abortion.  Even without a change in the law there is much we can all do to change the situation.

There are many people on all sides of this debate who agree that 200,000 abortions a year is far too many, and abortion on this scale can only be a source of profound sadness and distress to us all.

Abortion is not only a personal choice.  It is also about the choices our society makes to support women, their partners and families who face difficult decisions.  For the sake of our common humanity, and the lives at stake, we must work to foster a new understanding and approach to relationships, responsibility and mutual support.  Even without a change in the law we can and should work together at least to make abortion much rarer.

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