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Don't make abortion an election issue - (Tony)Blair
Scotsman ^ | FRASER NELSON

Posted on 03/16/2005 6:25:35 PM PST by nickcarraway

TONY Blair took on the Catholic Church yesterday as he warned that abortion should not be an issue in a general election.

His remarks came in direct opposition to those of the leader of the Catholic Church in England, Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, who praised the Tory leader, Michael Howard, for his stance on the issue.

The Prime Minister said through his spokesman it would be a "pity" if the debate over tightening abortion laws was used in an election campaign. Mr Howard has indicated he favours reducing the limit on abortions from the 24th week of pregnancy to the 20th week.

Cardinal O’Connor, as he issued a letter urging Catholics to question parliamentary candidates on six key policy issues ahead of the expected election in the spring, said: "Abortion, for Catholics, is a very key issue. We are totally opposed to it.

"The policy supported by Mr Howard is one that we would also commend on the way to a full abandonment of abortion."

Mr Blair, an Anglican who attends mass with his wife, who is Catholic, yesterday moved to stop the Conservatives winning the religious vote on the strength of comments made by Mr Howard in an interview with Cosmopolitan magazine.

The Tory leader said he personally favoured abortion being made illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy, rather than the current limit on 24 weeks.

The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales said his answer was better than that of Charles Kennedy, the Liberal Democrats’ leader, who said he didn’t have a position, and that of Mr Blair, who said he disliked the idea of abortion but had no plans to change legislation.

There was dismay in Labour’s London headquarters, where they argued that abortion had long been a matter of free voting in Westminster - meaning no party takes a position and MPs vote by conscience.

Mr Blair’s spokesman said: "In his opinion it would be a pity if this did become a party-political issue, or indeed a general election issue." He added that Catholics also call for social justice. "The Catholic Church has a well-known position on [abortion] and it was one of many issues the Cardinal mentioned and therefore it should be seen in that context."

As Mr Blair was trying to push abortion out of the election campaign, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Glasgow yesterday published a pre-election credo saying it was opposed to stem-cell research, human cloning and "the appalling practice of abortion". The conference emphasised the "right to life" and asked Catholics to "play a part in shaping the values which will direct the political activity".


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: abortion; catholic; elections; england; europeanchristians; humanrights; labour; politics; prolife; tonyblair; tory; ukelection

1 posted on 03/16/2005 6:25:36 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Could some of Bush be rubbing off on the previously wimpy Tory leader?


2 posted on 03/16/2005 6:27:16 PM PST by pissant (only 363 days to go)
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To: nickcarraway
The Tory leader said he personally favoured abortion being made illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy, rather than the current limit on 24 weeks.

What you never hear from the pro-aborts is that "enlightened, sophisticated Europe" is far more restrictive than we are when it comes to abortion.

3 posted on 03/16/2005 6:28:59 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: pissant
In Europe they should elect their leaders(?) in an 'American Idol' type game show. It would be more interesting, and whoever got in office likely couldn't be any worse for the world.

Blair has been great for the most part, but that's a rarity these days from across the pond.
4 posted on 03/16/2005 6:31:04 PM PST by KoRn (~Halliburton Told Me......)
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To: nickcarraway

Why should abortion be ruled out as a political issue?


5 posted on 03/16/2005 6:31:22 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: nickcarraway

The best news to come out of the British Conservative Party for a long time. Howard just might be alright after all.

As for Blair...despite his strong effort on Iraq, he is still a socialist.


6 posted on 03/16/2005 6:32:10 PM PST by Aussie Dasher (Stop Hillary - PEGGY NOONAN '08)
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To: Aussie Dasher

But isn't Howard against the Iraq war?


7 posted on 03/16/2005 6:37:35 PM PST by Txsleuth (Mark Levin for Supreme Court Chief Justice!)
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To: Txsleuth

No. The Pommie Conservatives have always supported the war effort.


8 posted on 03/16/2005 6:38:55 PM PST by Aussie Dasher (Stop Hillary - PEGGY NOONAN '08)
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To: Tribune7

Yes. Thanks to our activist judges. I don't think this lets us off the hook completely, since we've had over 30 years to elect officials who would appoint good judges, but I think we're moving in the right direction.


9 posted on 03/16/2005 6:39:56 PM PST by RPTMS
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To: RPTMS

I blame the media too. If the subject was reported accurately we'd have much more restrictive laws.


10 posted on 03/16/2005 6:41:06 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: Cicero

Because he realizes he's on the less moral side? Makes sense to me for a pro-abortionist (or at least one not willing to take a stand on it) not to want it to become an issue.


11 posted on 03/16/2005 6:41:26 PM PST by Callirhoe
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To: Aussie Dasher

That is good to know in case he wins--the British way of announcing elections seemingly "out of the blue" confuses me, so I don't really pay attention--

I have watched the question and answer period, it is a hoot! I just love Tony Blair's quick come-backs--

They do things ssssssooo different than here, so I never know what party stands for what or who, or anything!


12 posted on 03/16/2005 6:42:52 PM PST by Txsleuth (Mark Levin for Supreme Court Chief Justice!)
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To: Txsleuth

Our system in Australia is much more like the Pommie one.

Usually, it's a clear situation of the Conservatives being on the Right, Labor on the Left. Blair's strong stand on Iraq has clouded things just a smidge.


13 posted on 03/16/2005 6:46:38 PM PST by Aussie Dasher (Stop Hillary - PEGGY NOONAN '08)
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To: Txsleuth

Antoine must not have a quick comeback for this issue.


14 posted on 03/16/2005 6:49:52 PM PST by RPTMS
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To: RPTMS

Yeppers, he isn't like Boxer and her group that like to brag about their stance that even partial-birth abortion is A-OK with them!!

At least "Antoine" knows that it is a losing campaign platform---


15 posted on 03/16/2005 6:53:15 PM PST by Txsleuth (Mark Levin for Supreme Court Chief Justice!)
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To: Txsleuth
The election system sure is different in the UK. The campaign proper lasts three weeks - from the time the PM calls for an election to voting day.

Quite an intense and exciting three weeks though.

16 posted on 03/16/2005 7:18:47 PM PST by Churchillspirit (Anaheim Angels - 2002 World Series Champions)
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To: Cicero
Why should abortion be ruled out as a political issue?


It is not good to be divisive when a nation is at war !
17 posted on 03/16/2005 7:21:13 PM PST by newfarm4000n (God Bless America and God Bless Freedom)
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To: Churchillspirit

Considering that Clinton, McCain, Kerry are all already campaigning and using taxpayer money to do it---they are missing Senate sessions and traveling the country on our dime---

The election isn't for 4 more years and they are already starting, so I think we should try it like Britain and only give them a few months notice!!!


18 posted on 03/16/2005 7:22:35 PM PST by Txsleuth (Mark Levin for Supreme Court Chief Justice!)
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To: nickcarraway

Uh, oh, Mr. Blair (3rd Wayer)...


19 posted on 03/16/2005 7:24:01 PM PST by ApesForEvolution (I just took a Muhammad and wiped my Jihadist with Mein Koran...come and get me nutbags.)
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To: Txsleuth
LOL!

They may actual have to take care of business instead of peddling their a***s all over town.

20 posted on 03/16/2005 7:25:36 PM PST by Churchillspirit (Anaheim Angels - 2002 World Series Champions)
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To: Churchillspirit

According to a Brit on a message board I do, there are 4 million abortions a year in Britain. Isn't that 4X the number in the US? Shocking.


21 posted on 03/16/2005 9:40:00 PM PST by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: newfarm4000n
It is not good to be divisive when a nation is at war!

Do you think you could pass along that information to the dems?

22 posted on 03/17/2005 3:50:27 AM PST by texasflower ("America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one." President George W. Bush 01/20/05)
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To: nickcarraway

"he warned that abortion should not be an issue in a general election."

I agree totally. This issue should not be in politics or the law.


23 posted on 03/17/2005 3:55:08 AM PST by tkathy (Tyranny breeds terrorism. Freedom breeds peace.)
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To: ClaireSolt

The latest statistics suggest there are around 18 abortions per 1,000 live births in the UK. In America it's over 20.

Regards, Ivan


24 posted on 03/17/2005 3:57:00 AM PST by MadIvan (One blog to bring them all...and in the Darkness bind them: http://www.theringwraith.com/)
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To: tkathy
I agree totally. This issue should not be in politics or the law.

Why not? Should taxes? Should slavery? Why? Who gets to decide?

25 posted on 03/17/2005 9:57:43 AM PST by nickcarraway
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To: pissant; nickcarraway

<< Could some of Bush be rubbing off on the previously wimpy Tory leader? >>

Mr Howard's OK.

Particularly when one credits him with being heard at all through the cacophany of pro-socialst Goebbelsian propaganda that around the clock around the world spews from the BBC [Broadcasting bullshit continuously] and from every one of what passes for news services and newspaper in that every-more squalidly-socialistic off-shore Euro-peon satellite state.


26 posted on 03/17/2005 11:22:33 AM PST by Brian Allen (I fly and can therefore be envious of no man -- Per Ardua ad Astra!)
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