When does human life begin? It is a fundamental and decisive question because your answer reveals your understanding of the nature and status of the human embryo. It also shapes your stance on the big bioethical issues of the day such as abortion, cloning and embryonic stem cell research. There are many voices sowing confusion, but the Bible is unmistakably clear that human life begins at conception. In this booklet, John Ling provides a wide-ranging explanation of biblical truth, the historical Christian perspective and evidence from modern science to support this position.
Thousands of people have signed a petition organised by a member of the House of Lords that challenges the imposition of abortion on Northern Ireland.
Baroness O’Loan has written to the UK Government opposing the radical move, saying new guidelines “give rise to great concern for the safety of mothers and their unborn babies”.
Northern Ireland’s largest party, the DUP, has backed the call for the resumption of devolution in the Province.
Westminster politicians voted in July to impose abortion on Northern Ireland if the Stormont Assembly has not returned by 21 October.
But a recent poll revealed a majority oppose the new laws being brought in, and over 25,000 people have signed Lady O’Loan’s petition.
The petition calls for the recall of the Stormont Assembly and the restoration of the Northern Ireland Executive.
In her open letter to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Lady O’Loan said there is an “enormous lack of clarity about the situation which will prevail between 22 October and the introduction of new Regulations”.
She said there are “significant legal uncertainties” surrounding the guidance and in the absence of certainty, “they give rise to great concern for the safety of mothers and their unborn babies”.
The Government said the Secretary of State was “doing everything he can to get Stormont back up and running”.
This month’s poll on the issue by Belfast pollsters LucidTalk asked 1,424 people in the Province if they agreed with the UK Government’s actions.
More people opposed than supported the changes across both men and women, and across every age group. Some 54 per cent of those aged 18-24 were opposed, as were 63 per cent of those aged 65 and over.
The Christian Institute’s Northern Ireland Officer Callum Webster welcomed the results saying: “The local public see that the current legal framework has protected lives and saved lives. They recognise that abortion is not good healthcare for women and is destructive of human life.”
For more information on abortion, see our Choose Life resources, or read our publication ‘When does human life begin’?