by Richard Dowden
THE 1967 Abortion Act is "a weapon of national suicide", Professor Jack Scarisbrick, chairman of Life, told the Commons Select Committee on the Abortion (Amendment) Act this week.
Professor Scarisbrick said the Act "cut at the very tap root of society", and claimed that it population. was causing a drastic decline in was causing a drastic decline in
"We are facing a national emergency more severe and more fundamental than inflation or any of our currert economic problems. The national birth rate has been collapsing dramatically during the last few years.
"It is quite possible" he continued, "that in five or six years' time, our birth rate will have dropped to a mere half of its 1964 total.
"Those who say that England would he better off with a population of, say, two thirds its present size miss the point. It might be so, provided that the age structure was still a balanced one.
"What we now face is an increasingly uhbalanced population. When the post-war baby boom of the mid 40s to early 60s becomes the 'geriatric boom' of the 2020s, a very large number of nonproductive elderly people will have to he supported by and provided for by a very small number of young and middle aged people," Life was confident that if the supply of abortions was substantially reduced, caring services like his organisation would be able to cope and provide positive help. He said that the degree of risk to the life of a pregnant Battersea, London and Cornwall, formerly practised in Harley Street and has written "Health, Radiation and Healing" on the effects of radiation. He is himself a father of eight and a grandfather.
He was first attracted to join the Church when as a Cambridge undergraduate he learned of the Church's teaching on artificial birth control, later becoming a Catholic.
He has been encouraged in his work in this field by the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Bruno Heim, who tried to obtain research funds for him he said Dr Ash said his instrument was one of five electronic methods of birth control now being studied by a special committee of the American Catholic Bishops' Conference.
If the present tests were successful — and results should be known in around six months — a voltometer, costing only a few pence, could then be massproduced.
A demonstration of Dr Ash's instrument was scheduled to have appeared on the BBC programme "Tomorrow's World" yesterday.
Some of Dr Ash's ideas on the electrical fields generated by the human body appear in last month's issue of The Psychic Researcher.
mother if she continued with the pregnancy should be made specific in the Act, and shou ' include provision for a gran risk of injury.
The risk of deformity should not be grounds for an abortion, because it encouraged the belief that the disabled were inferior and it could lead to the elimination of, for example, people of mixed racial parentage.
Professor Scarisbrick said that because many people had a financial interest in abortions, the Pregnancy Advisory Services should be separated from the clinics which conducted abortion. One result of the present arrangement was that the "woman's right to choose" did not exist. All sorts of social pressures were applied to make pregnant women have abortions.
Mrs Scarisbrick recommended the Government to provide hostels for expectant mothers who were being pushed towards aborting their child by homelessness and other social pressures. She added that no research was being done into the long term effects of abortion on the psychological and physical health of women, Professor McClaren, a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and a member of SPUC, said that discrimination was operating in the health service against those who did not agree with abortion. This was not simply confined to Catholics. "Many feel a natural disgust at taking part in an abortion operation. The conscience clause should be rewritten and tightened," he said.
Rome prayers for Irish peace
An inter-denominational service for reparation and prayer for peace in Ireland was held at St Patrick's Augustinian Church in Rome on Sunday evening, attended by a large number of Rome's Irish from North and South.
Readings were made by Gabriel McDonagh, Rector of St Patrick's: Fr Luke Dempsey, Prior of St Clement's; Fr Brendan Devlin, Professor of French at Maynooth, and the Rev P. Mowat, of St Andrew's Presbyterian Church. The Act of Reparation and the Litany of Intercession were led by Mgr Famonn Marron, Rector of the Pontifical Irish College in Rome. The service was attended by the Irish Ambassador to the Holy See Mr Gerard Woods.
Pope receives Shinto priests
A delegation of Shinto priests from Japan have pledged to intensify ties of friendship with the Vatican after meeting Pope Paul last week. About 70 million Japanese officially claim to he members of the Shinto religion, SPUC would like to see the law insist on the appointment of a number of "abortion referees" — trained doctors who had to examine anyone wishing to have an abortion. Dr Margaret White said the legislation of abortion under the 1967 Act had not cut down the number of back street abortions.
Tightening the Act would not result in a growth of back street abortions but possibly follow the pattern in Eastern European countries which was a growth in population. Dr Charles Goodhart said that the present Act was never intended to provide abortion on demand, and if administered properly, would not allow abortion on demand.
It was necessary to change the attitude of the medical profession and the Department of Health and Social Security as much as altering the law.
The SPUC recommended that there should be more research into the effects, and the amount of money being made by private clinics and that the wording of the Bill should be tightened to prevent some of the loopholes used at present to justify abortion on demand.