Missing millions - how abortion is harming us all

Last year, 56,000,000 children were aborted world-wide.

In the UK, since 1967 and out of a current population of 68 million, we have aborted 9.5 million unborn, 98% of which were for what are termed 'social reasons'; meaning that the child was, at the time – and for whatever reason – unwanted.

To put this in some kind of context, this means that in England and Wales, since 1967, we have legally killed around the equivalent of 14% of the population. Or, to put it another way, the entire population of Austria.

As our population goes into terminal decline, with a national reproductive rate of 1.6% – well below the 2.1% needed to maintain the population – Voice for Justice's new book, Missing Millions, explores the hidden cost of abortion on society, arguing that the declining birthrate means our ageing, indigenous population is moving inexorably towards extinction, bringing in its wake destabilising and possibly cataclysmic cultural, political, and economic change.

The burden for looking after our ageing population will fall squarely on the young – but who will pay?

Meantime, we continue our torture of the unborn. Recent medical advances mean that babies of 21 and 22 weeks' gestation now routinely survive - yet we continue to abort up to 24 weeks, well beyond the time they are capable of independent existence.

Evidence also shows that the foetus feels and reacts to pain from as early as 12 weeks. Missing Millions asks how, as a society, we can legally and morally justify the current time limit for abortion of 24 weeks, while using methods that inflict severe pain and suffering on the unborn child?

The contributors to Missing Millions are all experts in their field and include amongst others Professor John Wyatt, Emeritus Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics, previously Professor of Ethics & Perinatology at University College London; Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, formerly Bishop of Rochester, and now President of both the Network for Inter-Faith Concerns in the Anglican Communion, and the Oxford Centre for Training, Research, Advocacy and Dialogue (OXTRAD); and myself, Rev Lynda Rose, CEO of Voice for Justice UK and Convenor of the Lords and Commons Family and Child Protection Group.

Together, we call for an urgent reappraisal of society's attitudes and approach to abortion and for a reduction in the time limit to match rates of viability.

Missing Millions is available through the Voice for Justice UK website priced £7.99 plus postage.