Bishops Urge UK Voters to Highlight Abortion Issue


Catholic Bishops in the UK have urged voters to raise the right to life with election candidates and to consider it prominently in deciding how to vote in the General Election on June 8.


While the letter from the Archbishops of England and Wales on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference did not mention abortion specifically, the Scottish Bishops and Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth issued letters which stressed the priority of the right to life of the unborn.


The letter from the Bishops’ Conference in Eccleston Square spoke only vaguely of “measures to promote the intrinsic value of life at every stage?” But in his pastoral letter, Bishop Egan listed ten questions that Catholic voters should ask of a candidate. “First, and foremost, how far will this or that candidate protect the sacred dignity of each human life from conception to natural death, opposing moves to liberalise the abortion laws, to extend embryo experimentation and to legalise assisted suicide and euthanasia?”


The Bishops of Scotland also made clear that abortion and the right to life are issues of fundamental importance. Their letter, to be read at all Masses in Scotland this weeked lists Human Life, Marriage and the Family, Poverty, Asylum and Religious Freedom as key areas of concern. “Any laws which permit the wilful ending of life must always be rejected as reprehensible and unjust,” the Bishops write, urging Catholic voters, to “remind our politicians that abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia are always morally unacceptable.”

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. May 15. Diocese of Portsmouth. May 12. Scottish Catholic Media Office. May 15.

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