The man who wants to lead a sensible debate on abortion
Anti-abortion campaigners are ready to launch a US-style cultural war against the 40-year-old law that allows women in the UK to choose to terminate unwanted pregnancies - with politicians who are also practising Roman Catholics as their first targets.
MPs and other elected representatives who attend Mass but have not taken a hard line against abortion will be targeted by activists who say they should be disowned by the Church. Read more
Abortion: The hysteria which divides the US
Anti-abortion campaigners in the US will tell you their crusade is about the sanctity of life. But really it is about upholding a singularly unhealthy tendency in American public life - the exploitation of a divisive social and ethical issue to further the ambitions of a single political party whose agenda doesn't necessarily reflect the interests of the anti-abortion campaigners at all. Read more
Joan Smith: A minority is trying to impose its morality on the rest of us
Whenever people start talking about abortion becoming a political issue once again, I know they're speaking in code. What it means is the religious right has spotted a chance to impose its opinions on the rest of us, first in the guise of more restrictive criteria for terminating pregnancies and then in the form of an outright ban. Read more
The leader of Scotland's Roman Catholics yesterday questioned whether politicians who backed abortion should remain full members of the church, and also compared Scotland's abortion rate to "two Dunblane massacres a day". In a sermon marking the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act, Cardinal Keith O'Brien attacked both the practice of abortion and pro-choice members of the Scottish parliament.
After mass at St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh, Cardinal O'Brien told journalists he supported a change in the law governing what he described as "an evil trade", and challenged the right of pro-choice Catholic parliamentarians to remain full members of the church. He warned them of "the barrier such cooperation [on abortion] erects to receiving holy communion". Read more
The leader of England's Roman Catholics has warned MPs that they cannot tolerate abortion and keep their faith.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's intervention places unprecedented pressure on Catholic politicians for reforms to abortion law.
His warning means nearly 70 MPs are faced with a crisis of conscience if they fail to rally behind a fresh push for the abolition of legal abortion. Read more