The Archbishop of Canterbury has used his Christmas address to speak out against abortion and emphasise the human value of the unborn child.
Dr Rowan Williams spoke about the importance of the sanctity of life from conception through to natural death.
Addressing the 70-million strong Anglican Communion, Dr Williams said: “This is why we cannot regard unborn children as less than members of the human family, why those with disabilities or deprivations have no less claim upon us than anyone else.”
It has been a year since Dr Williams spoke out publicly on the issue of abortion when he criticised how it was increasingly seen as the easy option.
The number of abortions per year in England and Wales has already passed the 200,000 mark.
New figures reported last month by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the annual total is set to continue rising, with 105,000 abortions already recorded in the first six months of 2008.
Dr Williams also spoke out about euthanasia and said Christians should “try to make loving sense of human life even when it is near its end and we can hardly see any signs left of freedom or thought”.
The sanctity of human life has come under particularly strenuous attack this year.
In October Parliament passed the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill which further liberalises the law on destructive experiments on human embryos.
It also allows the creation of embryos which are part animal, part human.
Pro-abortion MPs were determined to use the Bill to make Britain’s abortion laws even worse, but failed to get Parliamentary time for votes.
Recently the head of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), Ann Furedi, made some astonishing comments about the status of an unborn baby.
She admitted that the embryo is a human life but said its value is “relative” to the wishes of its mother.
And in recent weeks a flurry of assisted suicide stories has hit the headlines. The Government has said it intends to “modernise” the law in this area. An MSP is pressing for the law to change north of the border.