Thursday, 13 September 2007

SPUC Conference (Post 2): John Smeaton

"...We’re not on the slippery slope any more – we’re right over the edge of the cliff and in free fall!”

That's the verdict of SPUC's general secretary, Paul Tully, on the draft Human Tissue and Embryos bill which seeks to widen the grounds for carrying out destructive research on human embryos, to permit the creation of interspecies embryos for experiments as well as containing other "simply terrible" proposals. The Bill is expected to be announced in the Queen's speech in November.

During his speech to wrap up the national conference, SPUC's national director, John Smeaton relayed a conversation he had with his colleague about this horrifying piece of legislation:

"As Paul Tully, SPUC’s general secretary, put it to me, 'With interspecies embryos on the legislative horizon and with the political and scientific establishment and with major sections of the media saying that the bill does not go far enough, we’re not on the slippery slope any more – we’re right over the edge of the cliff and in free fall!' "

On the forthcoming political challenges, John said the first was to try to "quite simply... defeat the government’s draft Human Tissue and Embryos bill... The second political challenge is to persuade parliamentarians, whether they are pro-life or pro-abortion, not to table amendments on abortion in the current Parliament because the current Parliament is substantially pro-abortion – and, we won’t lose, unborn children will lose."

He said SPUC was under "no illusions about the powerful forces ranged against us" but that the power of prayer was the most powerful force to defeat pro-abortionists.

John added that there was a fantastic opportunity in the growing grassroots educational work of the Society on which "all future political progress on the right to life is founded and depends and without which no future political progress will ever occur".

Reporting that 2,800 individuals have ordered over half a million educational flyers on this "evil" bill, he said the response to the campaign was unprecedented and presents a fantastic opportunity for the society.

He talked about continuing to make an "unbreakable alliance" with Muslims in the fight for justice for unborn children. Dr Majid Katme, the organizer of SPUC Muslims, has contacted 34 Muslim leaders who’ve subsequently asked SPUC for campaign materials on the Bill.

John concluded by stating: "The great task which faces SPUC today is to stand up and be counted for the most vulnerable human beings in Britain.

"These include spina bifida babies in the womb, 90 per cent of whom are killed and never see the light of day, and Down's babies in the womb, 92 per cent of whom are killed before they see the light of day.

"Also at grave risk are unborn children in the earliest weeks of pregnancy, whom parliamentarians, like Dr Evan Harris and Lord (David) Steel of Aikwood, want to see completely abandoned, if they get support for tabling abortion amendments to the Human Tissue and Embryos draft bill soon to come before Parliament.

"The unborn disabled, the unborn in the earliest weeks of pregnancy, post-abortion women and girls, mentally incapacitated patients threatened by the provisions of the Mental Capacity Act - these are the poorest of the poor in Britain and it's SPUC's job to learn to speak out and to take action ever more effectively in their support and to work with prudence and courage in pursuit and in defence of just laws which uphold the right to life."

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