The Catholic Church inaugurated a “pro-life office” in Scotland, the first of its kind in the country. Opened three days after the Republic of Ireland voted to overturn a ban on abortion, the new Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh Pro-Life Office in Edinburgh is a church initiative to promote the campaign against abortion, reports Herald Scotland.
A pro-life officer heads the office and is responsible for coordinating with volunteers in 103 parishes in St. Andrews and Edinburgh. Senior cleric, Archbishop Leo Cushley, said the office aims to build a “democratic consensus” around “legislative change” in Scotland, where it is now legal to terminate a pregnancy during the first 24 weeks.
Archbishop Leo Cushley said the office aims to build a “democratic consensus” around “legislative change” in Scotland, where it is now legal to terminate a pregnancy during the first 24 weeks.
On May 25, 2018, Irish voters decided on a referendum to remove the Eight Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which gives unborn children an equal right to life.
“One of the many lessons of the recent referendum in Ireland is that those of us who seek to promote a culture of life have a distance to go in terms of winning over hearts and minds to the pro-life cause and that, really, is one of the key tasks of our new pro-life office,” said Archbishop Cushley.
Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan, warned that repealing the Eight Amendment would result in grave consequences. “Permitting abortion in Ireland could lead to in excess of 10,000 further abortions per year in the country, if the rate develops similarly to that in the UK.”
However, pro-choice group Abortion Rights downplayed the opening of the pro-life office in Scotland. Jillian Merchant, a spokesperson of the group, said the church is “wildly out of touch” with public opinion. She added that the office “represents a minority view seeking to stigmatize women for making choices over their own body.”