KCL Abortion Debate: Pro-Life campaigner likens abortion to ‘killing husband’

A prominent pro-life campaigner has compared abortion to killing her husband while in a debate on the issue at King’s College London.

The comments came from Anne Scanlan, the Director of Education and Media at Life, a leading pro-life organisation during a debate which was hosted by the King’s Libertarian Society on the Strand Campus last month.

It also featured the Chief Executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Center (BPAS), Ann Furedi, as offering the opposing view.

Ms Scanlan’s views surfaced after both panellists were asked their opinions on whether the current abortion law, which makes it illegal to abort a foetus after 24 weeks in the United Kingdom, should be changed.

Following Ms Furedi stating that she would like there to be no time limit, Ms Scanlan responded by asserting that she wants to the law tightened so that two doctors were “genuinely” used to confirm the abortion.

“As you say, what woman would want to abort after 24 weeks or indeed before 24 weeks in my opinion. But surely there must be – what you are suggesting is that there is no limit”,  Ms Scanlan said.

“Even if a woman should decide at 24 weeks, just because it’s not going to happen very often it doesn’t matter that we don’t have a law around it. I mean, suppose I decided to kill my husband, it’s not the outcome that everyone is going to do that so let’s not bother having a law around it.”

These comments came as a shock to her fellow panellist, who replied, “It’s not the same though, is it, really? I mean come on.”

Ms Scanlan persisted with her argument and said in response: “Well it is, for me it is. I see absolutely no difference between a baby being in the womb. I loved my children from the moment I knew I was pregnant and I was a mother from the time that I knew I was pregnant. Just because we have a mind-set now that says abortion is just another method of birth control. Honestly we have to be more responsible in our attitudes, more responsible in our behaviour.”

Anne Furedi pointed out that this was where their opinions differed: “Well that’s the difference, isn’t it, I think between our positions – is that you see killing an early embryo in a womb through abortion like killing your husband.” she said.

During the debate, Ms Scanlan also said that the pro-life debate was being silenced in universities and complained that abortion clinics were profiting from the practice.

London Student approached Ms Scanlan for a comment on the views she expressed in the debate and she gave the following response: “No matter how blind people wish to be I think they can understand that a baby capable of being born alive is indeed human. That human obviously existed before viability and even Ann Furedi agrees that abortion, at any stage, ends a human life. The difference in our position is that I believe all human life has value, whereas Ann does not. She believes that the woman’s ‘choice’ trumps the baby’s right to life.

“Of course legally there is a world of difference between ending the life of a child in the womb and taking the life of a born human being. Killing a born person is illegal but killing an embryo (in some cases) is not. However, I do not think that morally there is a difference between ending the life of a child in the womb and ending the same life once it is born. As I believe I argued, there is no moral change that occurs during one’s journey down the birth canal and some people already argue that the reasoning for abortion would also justify infanticide in some cases.

“This was a response to Ann Furedi’s suggestion that we do not need a law to prevent late term abortions as most woman would not want an abortion after 24 weeks. My response was that just because most women might not want to kill their husbands did not mean that we should not have a law against it, which we clearly do.”

This is not the first time Ms Scanlan has been in the news, where just last year she ended up having to defend the terminology which Life used on its website. Despite claiming to offer unbiased support to pregnant women it was shown that the charity compared abortion to the death penalty.

When asked on the Today programme last April about this, she said that she could not “believe” that such terminology would appear on the website. The line, “Why should the child suffer the death penalty/when he/she is entirely innocent?” was shortly removed after Ms Scanlan’s appearance on the show.

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