Today, the 28th December, we remember the slaughter of the Holy Innocents. The Magi encountered Herod in their search to find the new king and were asked to return when they had found him. On finding Jesus, they were warned to return by a different route and so thwarted Herod’s evil intent to slay Jesus. Undeterred Herod ordered the slaughter of all boys under the age of two in Bethlehem and the surrounding area. Joseph, having been forewarned, had taken the Holy Family to safety in Egypt.
We do not know how many boys were murdered but the impact on the town must have been terrible. But what about the modern-day state sanctioned slaughter of the innocents? Official statistics reveal that in Great Britain one in every four pregnancies was terminated prematurely by clinical intervention. Every working day in Great Britain 600+ abortions are performed. Department of Health statistics for 2004 showed a continuing increase in the number of abortions in England and Wales – at over 194,000 – a rise of over 2% from 2003.
That prompted Life to say; “Government money should be used to fund crisis-pregnancy counselling and support and not into railroading ever-increasing numbers of women into abortions they feel they ‘have no choice’ but to have”. Since then New Labour took no notice and neither has the ConLibDem Coalition. The annual figure has increased and peaked at 213,000 in the whole of Great Britain before falling back slightly. Teenage pregnancies and subsequent abortions keep on increasing
On 27th October 1967 abortion was legalised and since then seven and half million innocent British babies have been killed or to be politically correct – terminated. In 1968 there were 23,641 abortions compared with 842,000 live births, the illegitimacy rate being 8.5%. In 2001 there were 186,274 abortions compared with 595,000 live births, the illegitimacy rate being 40.1%. The underlying trend goes on and upwards and none of the Government’s initiatives to reverse this trend have worked. With the increased availability of the morning-after pill and unrecorded terminations we have no way of knowing what the true situation is. The impact on this country has been terrible.
The UK carries out more abortions than any other country in Western Europe. Worldwide the figures for abortions vary, from 50 million at the lowest estimate up to 80 million at the highest for each year. The Government is committed to funding abortion and contraception and exporting them worldwide as part of its international aid programme.
So on the 28th December pause and remember those modern-day Innocents.
Sacrifices and prayers of praise to you, O Lord, We offer
Receive them on behalf of those souls, Whom this day we remember
Allow them, O Lord, To pass from death to life.