TUC and Labour Party resolutions against reform of the abortion law have been condemned in a rare joint statetnent this week by Cardinal Hume of Westminster and Cardinal Gray of St Andrews and Edinburgh.
The cardinals say that the resolutions run contrary to the preamble of the United Nations declaration on the rights of' the child, adopted by Britain on November 20, 1959. The preamble reads: "The child by reason of his physical and mental immaturity needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection before as well as after birth."
"More profoundly still," the statement continues, "we believe that, because abortion is against the law of God, individuals have an overriding duty to obey that law in all circumstances." It concludes: "They ought not to feel bound by these particular resolutions, which in fact conflict with the traditional view within the Labour movement that moral issues should be left to the individual conscience."
At noon this Sunday, October 28, the TUC is holding a march in London, at which thousands are expected, to oppose the Bill introduced by Mr John Corrie to limit the grounds for abortion, now in its committee stage.
A seminar planned by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children on October 27 has been cancelled by the London School of Economics where it was to have been held.
Mr John Smeaton, Secretary of SPUC. said: "I was left speechless and shocked by this decision. We had been planning the seminar for months and had our booking confirmed by the LSE on June 19. This is censorship.
Mary Kenny, the journalist, who was to speak at the seminar, said: "My talk, copies of which can make available, deals solely with evidence of the physical and psychological effects of abortion from countries throughout the world. In the light of the LSE's ban it is useless hypocrisy for them to state that they defend the right of people of' all persuasions to address members of the school."
Professor Ralf Dahrendorf, Director of the LSE, said: "Since the booking the coincidence with the TUC march is bound to lead to politicising of the event. I have to hold the very very strict view that the LSE is under no circumstances going to be used as a political battleground.
"II my students or staff had been involved, I would have defended their rights to the last. This is not a question of free speech."
The Metropolitan Police have refused permission for 1,500 supporters of LIFE to picket the TUC march on Sunday. They said they could not guarantee their safety. Instead, a march is planned, assembling at Horse Guards Avenue, off Whitehall, London, at noon.