By David Alton
At no previous election has it been so easy to establish what the parties and individual candidates stand for. A plethora of publications and web sites enable voters to really weigh up the alternatives.
One of the best guides is the Right To Life web site at www.righttolife.org.uk. Here you will learn that Labour has official party policy in favour of abortion on demand; how they have sought to silence pro-life opponents; how they opposed the Winterton Bill seeking to prevent euthanasia; how they have promoted human embryo cloning; how they allowed morning after pills to be made available, without a doctor’s prescription, over the counter to sixteen year olds. Labour has also continued the funding which sustains the one child policy in China (involving forced abortion and sterilisation of women).
The Conservative Party is the only party to have an official policy opposing euthanasia, the extension of the Abortion Act to Northern Ireland, and the reappraisal of funding for the one child policy. All members of the Shadow Health team, led by Dr. Liam Fox, are pro-life (their Labour and Lib Dem counterparts are all pro abortion). They had no party position on human embryo cloning and no candidate or pro-life group within the party has ever been discriminated against for openly expressing their view.
The Liberal Democrats have official party policy in favour of human embryo cloning and in favour of a Royal Commission on the legalisation of euthanasia. In 1992 they passed a policy resolution in favour of supporting abortion on demand and up to birth in some cases and the extension of the legislation to Northern Ireland. Subsequently they said this would be a conscience vote in Parliament. They support the continued funding of population control programmes in China and elsewhere. Their front-bench spokesmen have argued for the sale of morning after pills to sixteen-year-olds and for experiments on human embryos.
The Right To Life website also tells you what you need to know about the leaders of the parties.
Tony Blair voted for abortion up to birth for a baby with disability; for abortion to be extended to Northern Ireland; for experiments on human embryos – and for their cloning. He supports “withdrawal of treatment” for some of the sick or dying, the sale of the morning after pill (it must be the morning after something) to sixteen-year-olds, and the continued funding of population control policies.
William Hague votes against abortion, the extension of the Act to Northern Ireland, euthanasia, human embryo experimentation, human cloning, the one child policy, and he personally led the opposition in the Commons to the over the counter sales of abortifacients to teenagers.
Charles Kennedy abstained on the Winterton Bill opposing euthanasia and he was again absent for the vote on human cloning. In 1990 he voted for the human embryo to be used as a guinea pig for testing contraceptives – but he voted against the manufacture of human embryos purely for experimentation. He has voted against late abortions and abortion on demand.
Many candidates play “follow my leader” `or slavishly follow the party line. Others have the courage to speak out in favour of the sanctity of human life. That’s why you need to visit www.righttolife.org.uk before making a decision, which for someone else really will be a matter of life and death.