At the Colloquium on the Psychological Impact of Abortion held on 6th March, Baroness Knight gave a very moving speech which she has kindly agreed can be put on the ProLife Alliance website.
Baroness Knight says:
I was elected to Parliament in 1966. The following year, a young MP from Scotland introduced a Bill to legalise abortion. In my constituency there is a famous hospital – the Queen Elizabeth, which is a part of the University of Birmingham. Shortly after the Bill came into being, the Chief Gynaecologist and the Chief Psychiatrist from that hospital wrote to ask me for a joint interview, which of course I was happy to arrange.
They began by asking me how I intended to vote on this Bill; I said I really did not know much about the subject. For the next hour and a half they talked, each drawing widely on the experience they had gained in a life-time of professional care. They expressed their fears of what Parliament was about to do, and while they fully understood the reasons put forward for the Bill – a lot was being said about the horrors of back street abortions and the problems faced by those who had become pregnant without wishing to be – they had so many warnings, and, in the time over which they spoke to me, I became a dedicated opponent of what was proposed.
This did not endear me to my colleagues. The Speaker rebuked me for being ‘emotional’ when I described precisely how an unborn child was literally torn to death in the course of being aborted, and said, quite truthfully, that it is illegal to treat any animal like that; for I knew from my doctor advisers that even an unborn child feels pain. There were so many points on which (taking their specialist advice) I warned the House: That although the Bill’s promoters swore it would never lead to abortion on demand, in fact, it would. That abortions would eventually be done because the sex of the coming child was not what the mother wanted, or because the child might be defective in some way. That abortion would be regarded as a means of contraception. That it would lead to irresponsibility. That there would be women who would suffer serious psychiatric problems after an abortion. That millions of children, who could easily have been found happy adoptive homes would never even have a life at all. I was reviled for stating these things, and I was the only woman MP who voted against the Bill.
Today, I earnestly wish that I had been wrong – yet every one of my warnings has come true. I hope those who still fight for the smallest, the most helpless and the most innocent of all live creatures today, will not give up. I know the Abortion law will remain on the Statute Book, but I weep for the six or seven million babies whom the Act has already denied a life, and for the women to whom they would have been born.
Signed Jill Knight, March 2012