Thursday, 18 April 2013

Baroness Thatcher's voting record on pro-life and pro-family issues

I join with the large number of people at home and abroad who have been praying for the repose of the soul of Baroness (Margaret) Thatcher and the comforting of those who are bereaved at her departure. The vulnerability of human beings at both the beginning and the end of life is well summed-up in the following words sung at her funeral yesterday:
"We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out ... Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down, like a flower ... In the midst of life we are in death"
Secondly, some SPUC supporters have asked for information about Lady Thatcher's parliamentary record on pro-life and pro-family issues. The following list is necessarily incomplete. In short, she:
  • voted for (what became) the Abortion Act 1967 at 2nd reading and at Report stage (voting many times for the bill during all-night sittings), though she was absent at 3rd reading
  • showed a mixed pattern of voting on several attempts by anti-abortion MPs to amend the Abortion Act (St John Stevas, Corrie, Alton)
  • supported the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill (now Act) 1990, which enshrined destructive embryo research in law and via which the Abortion Act 1967 was extended with ministerial help
  • voted against the equalisation of the homosexual and heterosexual ages of consent (2000)
  • voted to retain section 28 (banning the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities) on 24 July 2000
  • voted against homosexual adoption (16 Oct. 2002)
  • voted against various anti-life/anti-family provisions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill (now Act) 2008
It is fair to say that her record was mixed, with a move in a more positive direction in her later parliamentary years. After we have prayed for the repose of her soul, we must renew our prayers that one day we will have clear pro-life leadership from our elected representatives.

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