Valued & Precious

A response to proposals in the Criminal Justice Bill, May 2024

14th May 2024

The Anglican Church has always maintained a firm and consistent belief, rooted in scripture, in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.

As the Criminal Justice Bill comes to Parliament, we want to reaffirm our position that, precious and valuable to God, every human being has value and dignity from conception.

To that end we welcome efforts by pro-life MPs seeking to change the law for the better, especially to protect the most vulnerable in society - the unborn child. We recognise the traumatic and complex situations which may lead some pregnant women to consider an abortion. Such difficult circumstances call for compassion and understanding along with appropriate pastoral and medical care, and the provision of other options besides termination, for vulnerable women in their time of need.

However we do not support any change in the law which makes having an abortion easier, or which may have the effect of sending a message that people with certain disabilities are less valuable. Abortion must never be seen as merely a mother’s lifestyle choice and part of a doctor’s routine work.

Faced with anguished choices, the church has a unique voice in such situations, speaking not only of the beauty of the unborn child, the wrong of abortion, but also of the wonderful and compassionate grace of God to all who turn to him.

We know abortion is a sensitive subject for many, with close to 1 in 3 women having had an abortion. Our hope is all will come to know the renewing and redeeming grace of Jesus Christ, where he wipes away our tears and pains and by whom our guilt and shame are removed. 

Rt. Revd Andy Lines
Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Network in Europe