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Queen’s cousin: Abortion Act was doomed to fail

By on Thursday, 9 February 2012

Lord Nicholas Windsor, with wife Lady Paola Windsor, at last year's royal wedding David Jones/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Lord Nicholas Windsor, with wife Lady Paola Windsor, at last year's royal wedding David Jones/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Abortion is “the great elephant in the room in our culture” and the 1967 Abortion Act was “defeatist, unjust and doomed to fail horribly in the long run”, a cousin of the Queen has said.

In an interview with The Catholic Herald this week Lord Nicholas Windsor said that “it is so perverse for the state to withdraw fundamental protection for those who are owed it most of all [ie, unborn children]. What were those Parliamentarians thinking in 1967 [when they first legalised abortion]?”

The younger son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, the first cousin-once-removed of the Queen, and the great-grandson of George V, Lord Nicholas has become a pro-life campaigner in recent years and last year put his name to the “San José Articles”, a set of nine arguments set out to counter the case, currently being pushed by some at the UN, that abortion should be deemed a human right under international law.

In 2001 he became the first male blood member of the royal family to convert to Catholicism since Charles II in 1688, following the conversion of his mother the Duchess of Kent in 1994. The turning point, he said, was the voice of Blessed Pope John Paul II.

“He was my entry point. Obviously there was something extraordinary about him,” Lord Nicholas told the Herald.

Although admitting he felt “squeamish” about speaking in public, Lord Nicholas said that his convictions left him no choice. He said: “The death of so many unborn children, a good part of my generation, is the great elephant in the room in our culture. It is no good us going on thinking we are a compassionate, caring society when we accept what is really a tyranny, the abortion licence, thinking it’s a settled question and frowning on any questioning of it.”

The full interview can be read in The Catholic Herald tomorrow.




  • Honeybadger

    Spot. On. Sir!

    Abortion is a disaster for humanity.

    It is nothing more than a money making business for which women pay an incalcuable price, as the people of the United States realise right now.

  • Confof Chi

    Abortion yesterday euthanasia to day…….

  • Iangbonner

    Thank you for such boldness

  • Mxk300

    God bless you for being outspoken about this issue Lord Windsor – we all know how difficult it is! It must be hard being in the public eye where everything you do/say is scrutinised but just a tip that has helped me: say a short prayer to the Holy Spirit in your head/out loud before you answer or do something, asking Him to speak through you – He will never fail you :)

  • maryp

    Well said!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Sir, for having the courage to speak out on this issue. I pray the church will speak out loudly and clearly too. 

  • Charles Martel

    Well said. However, it’s a sign of how low we have fallen when we are astonished and grateful when Catholics speak out against abortion! Just to make this clear: we are all under a solemn obligation to speak out against it, and woe to those who trivialize it with those weasel words, ‘I’m against abortion, but I think it should be legal, because making it illegal will only worsen matters’. Woe to those ‘Catholics’ who call their co-religionists who oppose abortion ‘extremists’. It’s time for the Church to say quite simply, ‘If anyone defends the legalisation of abortion, let him be anathema’. It’s time for a clear-out.

  • Anonymous

    And the solution is…?

    No legal abortion = having to resort to back-street abortions, with all the attendant danger to the mother. IOW, 2 corpses for the price of 1. The present Act is anything but ideal – but it does at least not lead to the death of the mother as well as of the conceptus-foetus-baby.

    So what is the solution to outlawing abortion ?

  • Anonymous

    “Woe to those ‘Catholics’ who call their co-religionists who oppose abortion ‘extremists’.”

    *If* Catholics did not engage in extremism, there would be no problem. But some do. So there is. It is baptism that makes the Catholic; and a traditionalist of all people ought to know & believe that the sacramental character conferred is indelible. Therefore those whose opinions – for we are talking about opinions & prudential judgements about how to  deal with abortion: not about dogma -  differ, remain Catholics on equal terms. They are not divided into Catholics & “Catholics”. Calling people “extremists”, or worse names even, is not an excommunicable offence.

    “It’s time for the Church to say quite simply, ‘If anyone defends the legalisation of abortion, let him be anathema’. It’s time for a clear-out.”

    ## Most of the Church is not the tiny little caste of clergy who wag the Catholic dog by its tail.

    As a priest said, “God does not make rubbish”. Those who favour keeping abortion legal, or making it legal, are not rubbish to be swept outdoors or thrown on the compost-heap by their More-Catholic-Than-Thou brethren. Neither are the unborn rubbish. Yet keeping abortion legal may be the least bad way of dealing with a very painful and widespread problem, that shows no sign of vanishing soon. Sometimes, in the world as it actually is (& not as one might like it it to be) there is a choice only of evils, and not of goods or evils. Those who speak harshly of those who favour making or keeping abortion legal have a very great responsibility – that of suggesting a solution (or solutions) that shall be both practical & moral; that does not introduce a different set of evils instead of abortion. What they cannot do, is tut-tut from the sidelines: that mends nothing.

  • Bart_0117

    For a closely related member of the royal family to firstly convert to Catholicism and then speak out against the evil of abortion, beyond a reasonable doubt, must have been a great leap of Faith and act of Humility, something many of us may be inspired of. MANY of us indeed…

  • Anonymous

     “No legal abortion = having to resort to back-street abortions,”
    By your logic, we should legalize rape too.
    “No legal rape = having to resort to back-street rape”

  • Anonymous

    Spot on Sir!

  • Charles Martel

    Your post is redolent of the whole liberal Catholic mushy-headed thinking that has been condemned by the Church many times. God does not make rubbish – true enough – but that certainly does not mean that we should tolerate any and every evil, simply because so many creatures of God have chosen evil. To favour keeping abortion legal is to favour legalised murder. Is it legal for me to break your window, parasum? No. Why not? Because if I do so, I damage your property, which is wrong. How much more heinous is it to kill an innocent human being in his/her mother’s womb? And not only innocent; utterly defenceless. This is the Holocaust of our age. Abortion is, to quote Vatican II, an ‘unspeakable crime’, but you think it should be legal? When I say it’s time for a clear-out, I mean that people holding opinions such as yours should be told clearly that they cannot continue to hold and disseminate such abominable notions and be Catholics. It’s one or the other.

  • Angelwing

    As a grandmother of two aborted grandchildren, I can think of no greater evil to inflict upon a family than abortion. I very nearly lost my daughter, by God’s infinite Mercy, not physically, but emotionally and spiritually.  I had lost my daughter in the sense that my dear, sweet, and beautiful, daughter became callous, flipant, sarcastic, a heavy drinker, sexually careless and promiscuous with either sex, and lost to me and her family – we didn’t know what caused such a distressing change in a beautiful and sweet girl.  Twelve years later, she had an emotional breakdown.  Again by God’s infinite Mercy, I had a very good friend in the Right to Life of Michigan who for some reason she turned to.  Having taken immediate care of my daughter in her most dark hour, she had her sign up and go to Rachel’s Vineyard within days.  A few weeks later, on Holy Saturday, my daughter confessed to me what had happened to her and that she had had two abortions and it was driving her to the edge of despair.  She is mending now and has almost returned to the same sweet girl she was before the diabolic action of murder upon two Holy Innocents.  There is not a day that goes by that she doesn’t remember her children or a time when I see my other grandchildren that I and her daddy doesn’t think of the grandchildren lost to us in this world. The “anniversaries” of the days are particularly hard for her still.

    Abortion is of Satan, all evil.  I have posted a link to one of the doctors in America that personally was responsible for 75,000 abortions according to his own biography.  Take a moment and read this – you will see that abortion is truly a LIE and Satan is the Father of Lies.  All of the arguments about the numbers of illegal, back street abortions is a canard.  With legal abortions, there are still “back street abortions” taking place and women are dying – we know millions of children have certainly died.  Dr. Nathason even addresses the deceptive lie about back alley abortions and the “multitudes” of women who die.  In Philadelphia, there was recently a doctor who has been charged, along with his staff of murder – his abortuary like a scene out of Dante’s “Inferno.” Degradingly filthy with the bodies of little babies in jars in the refrigerators along with their salami sandwiches.  His abortuary is not the only one like that.  Please, there is not one legitimate argument to justify the merciless act of abortion. May God remove all the blinders from people’s eyes and form in them a soft and human heart.

  • Sszorin

    Brother “Parasum”, thank you for agreeing that keeping Auschwitz open was, as you put it, ”
    the least bad way of dealing with a very painful and widespread problem, that showed no sign of vanishing soon. Sometimes, in the world as it actually is (& not as one might like it it to be) there is a choice only of evils, and not of goods or evils.”.

  • Sszorin

    Dear “conceptus Parasum”, the reply to your post is ..O.K., but first you must sign the consent form for your frontal brain lobotomy.

  • adornoetal

     I think “legal rape” is called “consensual sex”, you know…

  • Jorge

    Please, work on your reading comprehension.

    By analogy to “legal abortion”, which is murder without legal consequences, “legal rape” is forced sex without legal consequences.

    It just happens that all abortion “arguments” are trivially shown to be absurd, by elementary reduction ad absurdum.

  • Jorge

     I meant “reductio ad absurdum”, of course.

  • adornoetal

    You need to think again – your idea of logic makes me laugh, and it does cheer me up that the anti-lifers (women’s lives) are so clueless.

    Don’t you see that there’s a basic assumption here that hasn’t been reduced to first principles?

    While “rape” is a word that has been derived from sex, specifically to mean illegal sex, “abortion” does not have the same relationship with the word “murder.”

    In fact, if you want to try to use logic to prove that those two are in fact connected, you had better get out your logic workbook and pencil and set aside the rest of your life to working it…

  • adornoetal

    All you are doing here is going round in a little semantic circle!

  • Jorge

     Your argument is wrong. Rape does not mean “illegal sex”; for example, states that criminalize sodomy do not classify all sodomy as “rape”. That disproves your assertion.

    The definition of rape is clear from the dictionary: “To force sexual intercourse or other sexual activity upon another person, without their consent.”

    “legal”, on the other hand, means “being allowed or prescribed by law, such as a legal motion.”. Straight from the dictionary.

    Therefore, “legal rape” means “To force sexual intercourse or other sexual activity upon another person, without their consent, being allowed by the law”

    Your smug and disrespect is a mark of those who have no argument.

    “When you cant debate, resort to ad hominem” – that is often the path of the leftists.

  • Jorge

    How is this a semantic circle?
    I say it is not. Gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.

  • adornoetal

    Who’s getting a bit ad hominem now? One might say that repeatedly stuffing posts with latin tags is often the path of smug pretentious rightists who don’t actually have an argument.

    If I accept that there could be such a thing as legal rape, there still remains the fact that the word rape, illegal or illegal, derives specifically from sex.

    Can you show a similar relationship between abortion and murder?

  • adornoetal

     I’m impressed by your command of superfluous latin

  • Jorge

    Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. It just proves the lack of real arguments.

  • adornoetal

     Are you going to reply to my other comment Jorge?  I’d love to hear your arguments about that.

  • Jorge

    (In reply to a post by adornoetal)

    “Can you show a similar relationship between abortion and murder”

    Why would I have to demonstrate such a relationship? My argument stands on its own. My argument was NOT supposed to prove abortion to be wrong; I was merely refuting one specific pro-abortion argument.

    Let me rephrase, being as clear as possible:

    Pro-abortion activists say “if abortion is criminalized, women will have to resort to back-street abortion, which is much worse. Therefore abortion must be legal”. This argument rests on three premises:
    A) When a service or good is criminalized, consumers will resort to the black market
    B) Obtaining a product from the black market results in more suffering than obtaining it legally.
    C) If a law increases suffering, then it must be overturned.

    However, those three premises would apply just as well to many other crimes. For example

    “If incest is criminalized, perverts will have to resort to back-street incest. Therefore incest must be legal.”

    “If chemical weapons are criminalized, gun-owners have to resort to black-market chemical weapons. Therefore chemical weapons must be legal.”

    “If drugs are criminalized, addicts will have to resort to black-market drugs. Therefore drugs must be legal” (notice that this argument applies not only to marijuana, but also to oxi and heroine)

    Since these conclusions are absurd, then the original argument was absurd.

    So, what is wrong with the argument? Why does it lead to absurdity?

    Premise A is wrong because it depends on a black-and-white worldview. If the populace were divided between people who are willing to obtain the good or service at any cost, and people who refuse it at any cost, then premise A would hold. But people are not black-and-white. People have a continuum of conviction. Some few people will do it at any cost, some will do it if it is easy, some are undecided, some would rather refuse it, some few will refuse it at any cost.

    Regarding abortion specifically: it is true that some people will obtain abortion no matter what, and others will refuse abortion no mater what. But the great majority are between these extremes. Some would  rather carry the baby to term, but will abort if they feel pressure (women often suffer great pressure to abort, coming from their boyfriend or their father). Others would rather abort, but will carry the pregnancy to term if they feel sufficient pressure (such as the threat of jail and social stigma) and if people help them carry the pregnancy (with money to pay the costs, with medical care, with emotional support).

    Therefore, if we were to agree that abortion is wrong, the most sensible policy would be:
    1) Offer support (financially and morally) to pregnant women to carry their pregnancy to term; if they choose to give the baby for adoption, then make the process quick and easy; if they choose to raise the child, then offer support
    2) Start an educational campaign about the right to life
    3) Severely punish abortion practitioners and providers of abortion pills
    4) Mildly (if at all) punish women who procure abortion.

    Just like we do against drugs. We offer support for addicts who want out, we promote anti-drug campaigns, we severely punish drug dealers, we mildly punish (if at all) drug addicts.

  • Jorge

    Please see my reply above (if I replied here, the text would be too narrow).

  • Jorge

     I already did.

    By the way, why is your nickname adornoetal? Are you a disciple of Theodor Adorno?

  • adornoetal

     Jorge, I realise now that the context of your comment was not that of an argument between a pro-choicer and an anti-choicer.

    Of course, most pro-choicers do not believe that abortion is, in itself, wrong.  They do not need to use the fact that women will resort to back-street abortions to reason that abortion must be legal.   They use this argument with you merely in an attempt to debate on a common ground, as they recognise that you hold different fundamental views on the issue.   Therefore the “murder without legal consequences” argument won’t get you very far with them, although perhaps it will with others who already agree with you on the fundamental assumptions.

    Personally, I think that rather than making an argument based on a priori assumptions about human behaviour in premise A, you would do better to look at the real world.  Women have always had abortions, as many as they have now, and they have just as many in countries where it is illegal. 

    One in three women in the UK has had an abortion, and the country is largely secular these days. I think you will have a hard time convincing most of the population that abortion is wrong.

  • adornoetal

    I had been reading a collection of essays called “Adorno et al” recently, although I’m not exactly a disciple. It was the first thing to hand when I had to think of a username.

  • Jorge

    I forgot about the fifth point of a sensible pro-life policy.

    5) Criminalize the act of pressuring a woman into abortion. Educated arguments would be allowed (I am against ideological censorship), but any form of coercion (such as threats, stalking or harassment) would be severely punished. If a father pressures his daughter into abortion, then offer her a foster home. If a man pressures his girlfriend into abortion, place a restraining order on him.

  • Jorge

    “They do not need to use the fact that women will resort to back-street abortions to reason that abortion must be legal.”

    But this is their most common argument, followed by “if you disagree with abortion then don’t have one” (which is ludicrous and absurd), followed by “abortion is cheaper than welfare support” or “it is better to abort them now than to watch they become criminals” (two viewpoints which are worthy of Hitler), followed by “conservatives only care about children when they are in the womb” (which is doubly wrong – first because it is ad hominem, and second because conservatives donate 30% more to charity then liberals).

    Regarding the rates of illegal abortion, see

  • Jorge

    And artificial contraception is no solution.
    Combined oral contraceptives often cause early abortion

    And there is no positive correlation between more contraception and less abortion.

    New York is an iconic example: it is America’s abortion capital (at 40% of all pregnancies) and also America’s contraception capital.

  • adornoetal

     It might be the most common argument they use with you, but that is because there is no point arguing with someone such as yourself about the deeper morality at question!

    “If you disagree with abortion then don’t have one” might seem absurd in its casual nature, but it speaks of a deeper truth.  If the argument can only be reduced to personal opinions on the status of a foetus – arguments which are unresolvable – then the issue might be best left to individual discretion.

    While I don’t find the other examples you give to be particularly helpful pro-choice arguments, it seems like they are misguided attempts to make an appeal to your rational judgement when fundamental beliefs can’t be agreed upon.

    I looked at your links – the first didn’t seem entirely relevant (based entirely on the claims of one man, and of purely historical interest).

    The second has some information on controversial Lancet articles – one might expect that a journal which in the same Wiki entry is called “one of the world’s best known, oldest, and most respected general medical journals” to have attracted controversy at times over the years – but none of these controversial articles refer to abortion.  Interesting that your first instinct seems to be to smear the journal though.

    The third seems ridiculously biased, although I don’t have time to go through the claims one-by-one.  Interested to hear that the USA has some of the world’s most “relaxed” abortion laws though – doesn’t seem to be the case in many states.   I think I will choose to take my facts and analysis from neutral organisations, thanks.

  • adornoetal

    Well, in that case, there is very little you can do. You can offer women support, but don’t try to take away their rights.

    Oral contraceptives cause early abortion? So does breastfeeding.

    Breastfeeding causes embryo loss by allowing eggs to be released and fertilized but the uterine lining is not prepared for implantation, so the fertilized egg/embryo dies. (Breastfeeding also suppresses ovulation, but not enough to prevent pregnancy – many women fall pregnant while breastfeeding).

    If breastfeeding a baby might cause your five-year-old child to suddenly die, would you accept that risk? No.

    And yet is is extremely commonplace for abortions to be caused by breastfeeding in this way.

    Why aren’t you campaigning to ban breastfeeding, if you think that an embryo has the same rights as a child?