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Why Family Policy Matters

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Roger Kiska provides an update on the effects of pro-life, pro-family policy in European countries.

Does promoting healthy family policies work?

Several months ago, I wrote about how the Hungarian government was unabashedly proud of being a Christian nation, backing its words with actions. One of the chief goals of the current majority has been to recapture a healthy marriage culture. In this sense, Hungary gives us the best evidence as to whether or not government policies helping families to flourish actually work. The answer, at least for the people of Hungary, has been a resounding yes.

Incidences of abortion in Hungary have decreased by an astounding 33% since 2010 (40, 449 to 28, 500). Divorce rates have fallen by 25%, from 23, 837 in 2010 to 18, 600 in 2017. The number of marriages has also jumped astronomically from 35, 520 in 2010 to 50, 600 in 2017.

Central Europe Leading the Way

It’s not just Hungary which has been guaranteeing its future by embracing policies which protect life and family. Poland has consistently introduced new laws seeking to limit or eliminate abortion in the overwhelmingly-Catholic nation, the last being a bill introduced to the Polish Parliament this past January which would have the effect of drastically lowering incidences of abortion. The Slovak Republic, another historically Christian nation, has also taken steps to limiting abortions. In 2009, it introduced mandatory waiting periods and counselling requirements. Europeans on the continent have also made their voices heard, with nearly 2 million EU citizens supporting the ‘One of Us’ European Citizens Initiative [ECI] aiming at eliminating EU funding of abortion or research on the embryo at the European level. While the European Commission has refused to introduce the successful ECI proposals to the European Parliament for debate, Christian Legal Centre’s Standing Counsel Paul Diamond, and its legal counsel Roger Kiska, have led the legal challenge before the European Court of Justice on behalf of the ‘One of Us’ Federation.

The poisonous fruits of the sexual revolution

The United Kingdom has embarked on a different path, embracing the values of the sexual revolution and all of the poisonous fruits that come along with it. Since Queen Elizabeth II took her throne, the UK’s family culture has become unrecognisable from its previous glory. In 1952, only 4.8% of babies were born outside marriage. The figure is now 46.8%. There were 349, 308 marriages in 1952, with a population of 50 million. In 2014, with 15 million more people in our population there were only 241,100 marriages. In 1952 divorce was rare, affecting only 33,922 couples. In 2014 there were 119,589 divorces. A 600 percent increase in divorce. And rather than trying to reclaim a healthy marriage culture, Lady Hale, the President of our Supreme Court, has suggested we need to make divorce easier to obtain, and based on no-fault.

In 1967, when abortion was legalised, there were 21, 400 abortions. In 2016, despite the cultural mainstreaming of contraception, there were 208, 553 abortions; nearly 10 times the number from 1967. And since the decriminalisation of abortion in 1967, more than 8.5 million children have been aborted, making a mother’s womb the most dangerous place to be for a child in the United Kingdom. That is a number larger than the population of many European countries.

Family stability has not fared much better. According to the United Kingdom’s Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, 2.5 times as many children are now taken into state care as there were in 2006.

Is it time for self-reflection as a nation?

It is perhaps time to take a long and hard look in the mirror about what the future holds in store for us if we continue down this same path. Central Europe has presented us with another possibility, a path that might yet salvage a family culture that is sick unto the point of death. The choice is ours.

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