Belfast Telegraph

Nelson McCausland: Victims of knife crime are rightly mourned... but what about the blameless lives lost to abortion?

Western society displays a diminishing sense of the value of human life, from the womb to the tomb

Anti-abortion protesters during a March For Life rally in London last year
Anti-abortion protesters during a March For Life rally in London last year
Nelson McCausland

By Nelson McCausland

Yesterday morning the Metropolitan Police in London started their fifth murder investigation in six days after a victim in a triple stabbing died in hospital.

Indeed, day after day the media carries reports of violence, stabbings and murders and they seem to be hitting the headlines with increasing frequency, especially assaults and killings involving knives.

Knife crime in England and Wales rose by 26% in just one year. In London two people were fatally stabbed in the first six hours of 2019 and, by June 16, there were at least 31 deaths from stab wounds, as well as many people who were injured.

On March 26 alone six people, including four teenagers, were stabbed across the city within six hours of each other.

Of course, it’s not an issue only in England, or indeed the UK.

The number of knives seized by police in the Republic has risen by two-thirds since 2016 and they seized 264 in the first six weeks of this year.

There is no consensus as to the prevention of violent crime; however, policing methods are significant.

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More than 10,000 knives were seized and 1,372 suspects arrested during a recent week-long crackdown in England and Wales.

Neither is there any consensus as to the reasons for an upsurge in violent crime, and the truth is that there are probably a number of reasons.

Changes in police tactics, reductions in police numbers and changes in youth service provision have all been mentioned.

And the latest Home Office policy on targeting violent crime points to increased drug sales and music that glamorises violence. We might well extend that beyond music to include other forms of entertainment that glamorise violence.

But could it be that one underlying factor is a diminished sense in Western society of the value of human life? We see that expressed in violent crime, but we can see it expressed in other ways as well.

Last year alone over 200,000 abortions were carried out on women resident in England and Wales and, of these, 56,418 were abortions where the mother had already had a termination.

Indeed, more than 60 women had undergone eight or more.

Moreover, many pro-abortion activists now want to see the entire legal framework changed to remove all restrictions on abortion, with terminations available up to birth.

There is no recognition in this of the fact that the pre-born child is a person with potential, that there are two lives involved and that both lives matter — the mother’s and the child’s.

Pro-abortion arguments generally ignore the pre-born child and yet that child has intrinsic value and potential and deserves to be protected.

That child within the womb is “fearfully and wonderfully made”.

Anyone who looks at the scan of a pre-born child has all the evidence they should need of that truth.

In the past 10 years there has been a 42% increase in the number of abortions in Great Britain for babies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, and across Europe nine in 10 babies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome are aborted.

Yet, all human life is precious, irrespective of disabilities or impairments.

On a recent visit to London I was struck by the message on banners that were being carried in a demonstration in Victoria Street. They spoke of the value of human life and carried the slogan ‘From conception and without exception’.

Another assault on the value of human life can be seen in the campaign to legalise euthanasia, which in some countries has now been extended to accommodate child euthanasia.

However, that diminished sense of the value of human life permeates many other issues as well, including the care of the vulnerable and elderly.

If we are to address that, then we need to recover the truth that every person — born or pre-born, sick or healthy, rich or poor, young or old — is a unique individual with inherent dignity and ultimate value.

Every human being has intrinsic dignity and value and that extends “from the womb to the tomb”.

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