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New figures challenge pro-abortion rhetoric | Regan King

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Regan King comments on new figures showing that 1 in 3 babies born before 23 weeks survive to their first birthday. Exposing the inconsistencies in the pro-abortion argument he says, we need "an awakening to and acknowledgement of the unborn child's personhood that sees the abolition of the holocaust that is abortion."

Official figures released in the past week reveal that 1 in 3 premature babies born at 23 weeks survive. [1]

The legal term limit for abortions in the UK is currently 24 weeks. This latest figure deals a significant blow to pro-abortion activists' claims that infants aborted prior to 24 weeks are not capable of viable life.

It also comes amid calls for total decriminalisation from pro-choice lobbyists out of the British Pregnancy Advice Service and the Royal College of Midwives. With the snap General Election announced by Theresa May, Diana Johnson's proposed bill calling for decriminalisation may not have its Second Reading on 12 May as scheduled, though the matter will almost certainly re-emerge.

Britain among countries with highest term limits in Europe

Across Europe, most countries - including Russia, Germany, Italy, and France - have an abortion term limit of 12 weeks. [2] Spain comes just under the UK at 22 weeks and Finland's cut-off date is 24 weeks. Only Cyprus has a higher term limit than the UK at 28 weeks.

While it is encouraging that so many countries do have half the term time that the UK does, it should be noted that many offer abortions up to their term time with no restrictions, unlike the UK which does have some restrictions in place under the Abortion Act (1967).

Restricting abortions to the first 12 weeks alone, France still has 262 abortions per 1000 live births as compared to the UK's 253. With a term limit of 14 weeks, Romania has a high abortion rate of 436 abortions per 1000 live births. Russia has a term limit of 12 weeks but provides 551 abortions per 1000 live births - almost 50% of pregnancies in Russia end in abortion.

While cutting the term limit for abortion in the UK with present restrictions still in place would be a move in the right direction, it is not enough. The sobering abortion statistics from other parts of Europe serve as a reminder as to why we should not be content to merely cut the term time. Such action clearly does not always limit the number of abortions given. Recent calls by pro-abortion lobbyists, coupled with Diana Johnson's recently proposed bill would see the complete decriminalisation of abortion in England and Wales. Think no term limits, no restrictions, and no boundaries.

There will be fewer children and more regret-filled mothers, both of which will eventually result in obvious societal strain.

What is needed is an awakening to and acknowledgement of the unborn child's personhood that sees the abolition of the holocaust that is abortion.

A proposal for life

Why do so many countries have a 12-week term limit? It may be because beyond 12 weeks, the first trimester, nothing new about the infant forms or begins functioning. Six months of pregnancy are simply months in which the infant's already formed features mature and grow.

That said, 12 weeks is only the end of the initial process of an infant's development. Indeed, primary indicators of a person's life outside the womb - the heartbeat and brainwaves - can be clearly detected 40 days out from conception, with the heartbeat having started at 21 days.

Sentience or 'self-awareness' in layman's terms is detectable in the second trimester, though possibly before. [3]

Scientifically, it has been routinely concluded that life does indeed begin at conception. [4]

The statistic that 1 in 3 survive though born prematurely at 23 weeks once more raises the important question of personhood. Does a person's humanity rest on whether they are mature in their development? If so, then when is a child recognised as a human being? An infant born at 40 weeks will require care and nurturing to continue to develop and mature. Over the course of childhood, there is greater independence gained as part of this maturity and eventually at puberty, the child is itself able to reproduce. There is often still development and growth until early 20s in some cases.

At no point is the child considered to not be fully human and its developmental stages are seen as part of the natural life cycle. 

Why then is the process beginning at conception that eventually sees this child born not reflected in our nation's law as part of the natural life cycle? Upon exiting the mother's womb, to intentionally terminate the child's life at any stage would be classified as 'murder'. Does the location of a child in the mother's womb remove it of the right to life and the right for its life to be protected under law?

The pro-abortion argument is inconsistent and cannot satisfactorily answer these questions. Despite clear and well-reasoned concerns, pro-abortion advocates continue to call for complete decriminalisation.

Please pray that this would not happen. Please explore ways in which you can be an advocate for life at all stages from conception. Please stand with us in our ongoing efforts to be a voice for the unborn in the public and political spheres.

[1] Office For National Statistics, 'Statistical bulletin: Childhood mortality in England and Wales: 2015', published 20 April 2017
[2] Pamela Duncan, Molly Redden, and Jonathan Watts 'Abortion laws around the world: from bans to easy access' in The Guardian, Tuesday 5 January 2016
[3] The Rt Hon Lord Rawlinson of Ewell PC QC, 'Human Sentience Before Birth: A Report by the Commission of Inquiry into Fetal Sentience' page 2
[4] Princeton University, 'Life Begins at Fertilization',

Related Links:
Regan King: The law is being broken... so let's change the law to make a difference 
Regan King: Government funds Abortion bill architect 
Regan King: Being anti-abortion is not enough 


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