Archbishop makes controversial claims to cut abortion rates

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, has made controversial claims that women should be shown scans of their unborn child before proceeding with an abortion.

The leader of Scotland’s Catholic Church said he thinks the NHS should introduce the measure which is currently used in America in order to reduce terminations in Scotland. In the US currently, there are seven states which require women to receive ultra sound scans and descriptions of the foetus before proceeding with an abortion.

Anti-abortion campaigners are in agreement with Cardinal O’Brien saying that if these procedures are in place they may help persuade women not to go through with the abortion after seeing their unborn baby and how developed they are. Approximately 200,000 abortions are carried out in Scotland every year.

These comments come on the 15th anniversary of the Glasgow-based Cardinal Winning pro-life initiative which offers help for women facing crisis pregnancies. Sister Roseann Rweddy who runs the initiative said that around 120 babies are alive today because their mothers availed of their service.

A Marie Stope International Spokesperson said that the comments made by Cardinal O’Brien are deeply worrying.

“We believe the Catholic Church in Scotland’s desire for women to be forced to have ­- and look at – a scan of the foetus before being granted an abortion is deeply worrying.  This is something we’ve increasingly seen in the US over the previous year, and in several states this has in fact passed into law.

We do not want to see a situation like this in UK, where a woman’s right to choose and access this procedure is gradually eroded.  Women invariably know whether it is the right time in their life to have a child, and the decision to choose to terminate a pregnancy must be theirs to make without any further barriers being introduced.”

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