Once again Dave Walker has a roundup of reactions to the voting in the House of Commons, see Abortion vote: blog responses.
If you want to know what the numeric outcomes of all the abortion votes were, Louise Ashworth has them summarised here (these figures appear in the deadtree Guardian but I can’t find them on the website). The IVF votes (there were two of these) are reported by the BBC here.
It appears that somebody (or maybe more than one person) has been giving out reaction quotes on behalf of the Church of England. See these reports:
Martin Revis Ecumenical News International via Episcopal News Service Religious leaders critical of vote to allow embryo research
Dr. Malcom Brown, director of Mission and Public Affairs for the Church of England, said, “Any erosion of the unique moral status of the human embryo opens the door — if only a crack — at the top of a ‘slippery slope’ to treating human beings as less than ends in themselves.”
Robert Pigott BBC Churches unhappy over father figures
But the Church of England has reserved its greatest ire for the decision of MPs to allow single women and lesbian couples to seek IVF treatment without having to consider the need for a father for their children.
Its verdict is stark.
“This vote sends a signal that fathers don’t matter,” it said.
“The Church holds that a child’s right not to be deliberately deprived of having a father is greater than any ‘right’ to a child through IVF.
“We are extremely disappointed that the important role of fathers was not recognised in the bill, and that we now have a situation where the perceived ‘right’ to have a child trumps the right for a child to be given the best possible start in life.”
…The Church of England focuses on how children end up without a father.
“There is a huge difference between a child who finds themselves in a single-parent family through bereavement or breakdown of parental relationship, and those who find themselves in this situation by design, for which this bill allows.”
By comparison the Church’s official reaction to the defeat of several attempts to cut the limit for abortion of 24 weeks’ gestation was mild.
A spokesman said that “abortion is used too freely”, but added that “the upper limit should be considered sympathetically on the basis of medical advances”.
The problem for the Church of England – a large organisation lacking strong top-down authority – is the wide range of strong views on abortion held by its members.
Update Thursday morning
The Bishop of Bradford has expressed his personal opinions see Bishop critical of abortion decision in the Bradford Telegraph & Argus.