Bishops’ Conference of Scotland Statement on Abortion
In the light of recent public debate on the subject of abortion, Scotland’s Catholic Bishops offer this perspective to the people of Scotland:
“Whether we believe in anything spiritual or not, the life that each one of us lives is the only one we have, and to take life from the unborn, no matter how insignificant in size, cannot be right. The rights of a woman and the compassion and support due to her, and the circumstances of her pregnancy, are naturally of great concern to us, but an unborn life, once taken, can never be restored. This is what makes abortion such a profoundly important matter for all human beings.
“No matter what position we take, this belief in the profound importance of the issue is shared by us all. It is incumbent on us therefore to accept that deeply held and divergent opinions are at stake and that the conflict which arises from this should be handled with respect and civility.
“Those who do not believe human life begins at the moment of conception, invite the question: ‘when does it begin?’ while those who believe that it does, ask the question: ‘what right have we to take a unique and unrepeatable human life?
“If we are to be the caring and compassionate society we aspire to be, upholding the sanctity and dignity of all human life must be the foundational principal upon which that aspiration rests.”
“To remove freedoms from peaceful, law-abiding citizens sets a chilling legal precedent for everyone, including those who support abortion. We believe that calls to introduce buffer zones around abortion facilities, where there have been no reported incidents of harassment or intimidation by participants in peaceful vigils, are mistaken. Such vigils bear tangible witness to our common freedoms of expression, speech and assembly.”