Thursday, October 9, 2008

Cardinal Pell weighs in to Abortion Debate

THE Catholic Church has warned that Victoria's contentious abortion legislation could create a dangerous precedent for the rest of the country.

Cardinal George Pell released a stattement yesterday showing his solidarity with the MPs who were "currently confronted by the significant difficulties associated with the Victorian Abortion Law Reform Bill".

Cardinal Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, shared the concerns being expressed in the Victorian upper house that the Bill had the potential to create a "dangerous precedent" for legislators across Australia.

"Every human being has the inherent right to life. There is no right to the destruction of innocent persons and that our community should be offering vulnerable pregnant women much more than simply an increasing number of ever more accessible ways in which their unborn children can be killed," he said.

The Bill seeks to decriminalise abortion up to 24 weeks, after which a termination can proceed with the permission of two doctors.

Cardinal Pell also expressed concern about the conscientious objection clause in the Bill, which says doctors who have an objection to abortion must refer a patient to another practitioner who does not have that objection.

He said every person had the rights of freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief and if the Bill was enacted, human rights may be broken.

The Anglican Church also stepped into the debate.

In a speech last night at Melbourne's St Paul's Cathedral, Archbishop Philip Freier expressed concern about the conscientious objection provision and about the state of childhood in Australia.

As the lengthy debate in the upper house continued last night, Democratic Labor Party MP Peter Kavanagh, who had spoken for just under three hours when the upper house rose for a dinner break, received applause and congratulations from people in the public gallery.

Abortion "kills lives", he said, and the Bill would breach people's human rights.

from The Australian Online.

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