THE Bishop of Chester has become patron of a controversial anti-abortion organisation.
Rt Rev Dr Peter Forster is happy to be associated with the Evangelical division of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).
He is staying silent about his own views on abortion, but spokesman Stephen Regan confirmed the bishop was “broadly supportive” of SPUC.
The organisation website states: “SPUC represents a voice for the unborn. The society promotes awareness of the humanity of the unborn child to encourage more widespread recognition of the obligation to defend those with no means to defend themselves.”
The Bishop’s spokesman Mr Regan said: “He’s not entirely sure he’s behind everything they stand for but in terms of the sanctity of life, he’s broadly supportive of them.”
Chester’s Labour MP Christine Russell MP put the opposing view that abortions should be allowed up to 24 weeks, according to the existing law.
She said: “My view, which I hold very strongly, is that every baby should be wanted and I agree with the existing law. The vast, vast majority of abortions are in the first few weeks of the pregnancy. I don’t want to see the limit lowered because I don’t think the medical evidence at the moment supports it.”
Bishop Peter, who is chairman of governors at the University of Chester, is unafraid of controversy. He caused a stir when he suggested in an interview with The Chronicle that homosexuals could see psychiatrists for “re-orientation”.
Jan Bell, chairman of SPUC Evangelicals, described Bishop Peter and other patrons as “high profile Evangelical leaders”.
She said: “We are very pleased that Bishop Forster agreed so readily to become one of our patrons. While one may be pro-life on human rights grounds alone, faith in God brings special insight on the sanctity of human life.”