Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali has warned against a culture of “abortion on demand” as he called the latest abortion figures for England and Wales a “demographic disaster”.
Figures released this week by the Office for National Statistics show that just under a quarter (24%) of pregnancies in England and Wales resulted in abortion in 2018.
There was a significant increase in women aged 20 to 24 having abortions, up from 22.3% in 1990 to 35% in 2018.
At the same time, the figures revealed that conception rates have fallen to their lowest level since 2004.
Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, said it was a “paradox” that premature babies are increasingly being saved in the same hospitals as the unborn are being aborted.
However, he said there were broader questions to be asked about a society where nearly a quarter of pregnancies are being terminated.
“The government statistics reveal that we are looking a demographic disaster in the face,” he said.
“Our primary concern has to be about the large-scale destruction of humans with potential who have no voice for themselves. But there are also wider implications here.
“A nation that is destroying a quarter to a third of its future population has to consider who is going to look after the old, the sick and disabled in the future who need the NHS.
“Will euthanasia be a solution? Will the generation that killed its children be in turn killed by its children?
“The viability of children born earlier than term is increasing all the time, so we have the paradox that unborn children can be aborted in the same hospital where those born prematurely at the same age are being saved through medical procedure.
“The Abortion Act, whether we like it or not, allows abortion in strictly exceptional circumstances. It cannot be abortion on demand.”
Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said the scale of abortion in England and Wales today was “simply unimaginable by those who wrote and voted for the Abortion Act 1967”.
“Lost in the release of 2018 abortion figures is the devastating reality that every one of these abortions represents a real, unique, human who has deliberately been killed,” she said.
“If these babies had been delivered, we’d name it what it truly is: legalised killing on an unprecedented scale.
“Many mothers who have had abortions feel a great sense of guilt over what’s happened. We don’t serve them by downplaying the tragedy of what has happened. We need to face the horror of what is happening behind abortion clinic doors and offer mothers, fathers and clinicians the hope and forgiveness found only in Jesus Christ.”