The Bishop of Chester has questioned whether a society that has “virtually embraced abortion on demand” can continue to regard children as a “precious gift”.
Bishop Peter Forster raised the issue in the House of Lords in the light of recent controversy around the subject.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has spoken out in favour of reducing the abortion limit from 24 to 12 weeks, while Home Secretary Theresa May and Culture Secretary Maria Miller have suggested they would back a 20-week limit.
During a debate he initiated on child care, he asked how society could work towards “a rediscovery of an understanding of children as a precious gift, irrespective of whether we wish to add ‘of God’.”
He added: “Can a society which has virtually embraced abortion on demand really continue to regard its children as precious gifts?
“I say that as someone who acknowledges that mothers and fathers can face difficult dilemmas, and I have never taken an absolute stance on abortion.
“But when nearly 25 per cent of recognised pregnancies are deliberately ended, what culture towards children does that promote? This is not the subject of today’s debate, but I cannot avoid a passing reference. We need a wider discussion about this whole matter.”