Several weeks ago, the European Parliament rejected a bill that would declare abortion a human right, and put pressure on all EU member states to legalize it. While the EU’s decision is a victory for pro-lifers – albeit likely a temporary one – it is vitally important for pro-life advocates everywhere to recognize the significance of potential legislation that couches a defense of abortion in terms of not only legal, but also human, rights.
The question of rights has been at the core of abortion debate since the broad legalization of abortion in the Abortion Act of 1967. Those in favor of legal abortion call themselves “pro-choice”, advocating a woman’s “right” to choose whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. In response, the growing “pro-life” movement has argued, and will continue to argue, that abortion is a violation of the most fundamental human right – the right to life – and that the “choice” abortion presents is detrimental to women, their children, and society as a whole.
As pro-life students, our position at Oxford Students for Life is clear. We are committed to the protection of human life and dignity at all stages of development, including those preceding birth. Unborn children are human beings, and as such, deserve the same legal protections as their parents; this includes the right to life. If we do not uphold the human right to life, we cannot claim to defend any other right, as all human rights are founded in the preservation of human dignity. Abortion is a direct attack on human dignity – it is not a human right, but rather, a violation thereof.
In light of the EU’S recent ruling, this Tuesday, OSFL will host Sarah de Nordwall and Ann Furedi to debate the motion ‘Abortion: Right or Rights Violation?’. Ann Furedi is the head of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, the largest independent abortion provider in the UK. Sarah de Nordwall is a professional poet, a speaker for Catholic Voices UK, and a volunteer for 40 Days for Life. We welcome guests of all beliefs to join us on Tuesday as we discuss this issue – it is simply too important to leave alone.
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