‘Britain needs an honest debate on the nature of abortion’

Britain needs to acknowledge that abortion means the death of a human being, a columnist has said.

Writing in The Spectator following the leak of the US Supreme Court’s draft ruling on Roe v. Wade, Melanie McDonagh said Britain is unable to have an honest debate on abortion while it avoids discussing its true nature.

She commented that unlike the United States, in Britain there is no argument on the rights of the unborn child.


McDonagh said “the inability to raise the fundamental question of whether abortion is homicide because it involves the destruction of a human being – without even going on to ask whether, even if it is, it should be legal to avoid worse outcomes – is dishonest”.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 Today, she added that abortion is discussed in “various euphemisms” and while we avoid the “central issue we will never really have an honest debate about this with obvious implications for how we frame the law but also how we address the serious morality of abortion”.

abortion involves the destruction of a human being

The journalist said Britain has discussed issues such as DIY home abortions and ‘buffer zones’ around abortion clinics, but does not consider abortion itself a matter of debate.


In the Republic of Ireland, pro-abortion campaigners have called on the Government to scrap its remaining legal protections for the unborn.

Ahead of the 2018 referendum on repealing Ireland’s pro-life laws, the then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar claimed abortion would still be “rare”. Since then, 13,243 reported abortions have taken place.

But in evidence sessions before the Oireachtas Health Committee, the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) and the National Women’s Council (NWC) complained that there are still too many restrictions.

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