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21 / 06 / 2010 - Student leader firmly rejects Bishop Burrows’ abortion appeal
Source: Church of Ireland Gazette
The former Deputy President of the National Union of Students/Union of Students in Ireland (NUS/USI), Alex Redpath, has told the Gazette that while he shares Bishop Michael Burrows’ compassion for those in “difficult pregnancies”, he does not accept that legalising abortions in certain circumstances is the answer.
As reported in last week’s Gazette, Bishop Burrows, Bishop of Cashel and Ossory, has called for the 1992 judgement of the Republic’s Supreme Court in the X case to be brought into legislation, allowing abortion when there was a risk to the life of the mother, including through self-harm.
Mr Redpath told the Gazette that, while the UK’s 1967 Abortion Act seemed to allow abortions in only the most limited of circumstances, “an activist judiciary and a relentless pro-abortion lobby have twisted what was supposed to be a limited provision into abortion on demand”.
He added that last year almost 200,000 abortions were carried out in the UK “despite the seemingly strict conditions imposed by the Act”, adding that nearly one in four unborn children in the UK were aborted, making the time spent in the womb “the most dangerous time of your life”.
Asked whether he believed that if the legislature in the Republic were to introduce a law allowing terminations in certain circumstances this would necessarily lead to a progressively liberal approach, Mr Redpath said: “I am firmly of the opinion that once the door is opened, a more liberal approach would be implemented by increment.”
He continued: “This is a sensitive issue and decisions regarding abortions are never simple. However, there is much scriptural evidence to substantiate the claim that life begins at conception.
“Isaiah 44: 2 tells us that ‘God knitted us together in the womb’. The book of Job (31: 15) also refers to God creating in the womb. Throughout the Bible, there are dozens of references to people in the womb.
“Biblical teaching always considers children in the womb to be people. Jeremiah 20: 17 refers to ‘killing in the womb’; therefore, the child in the womb must be considered a person.
“There is also the famous verse often quoted with regard to abortion: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’ (Jeremiah 1: 5)”
Mr Redpath told the Gazette that in his mind “there is no doubt that the child in the womb is a human being in the eyes of God”, adding that this was why he held that abortion “should be seen as murder”.
• Alex Redpath, a 2nd year Law student at Queen’s University Belfast, recently resigned as Deputy President of NUS/USI because of the organisation’s decision to reaffirm its pro-abortion policy.
Also Co-President of the Pro-Life Society at Queen’s, he said he quit the key students’ movement post “as a matter of conscience”.
However, he remains active in student politics and attends the National Council of NUS/USI.
He commented: “There is no point in a national students’ union having an abortion policy. All this achieves is to divide students when we should be uniting against a powerful anti-student lobby whose sole objective is the marketisation of education, such as increasing fees.
“This pro-abortion policy is nothing more than selfindulgence by the extreme left who have for too long held the whip hand in the students’ movement.”
See also: N. Ireland Student Deputy President quits over Abortion