Games coordinator calls for re-think on abortion laws

The Catholic Coordinator of the 2012 Games has called upon Christians to challenge leaders and politicians on Britain's "discriminatory and outdated" abortion laws.

James Parker, who is currently serving as a chaplain at the Paralympic Games, contrasted existing abortion laws - which permit abortion if the baby is likely to be seriously handicapped - with advertising for the Paralympic Games praising the abilities of Paralympians.

He told Vatican Radio: “What is astounding is that Britain is enabling the eyes of the world to be opened to the giftedness and potential of those with disabilities through its hosting of the Paralympic Games.

"However, its own laws vehemently and shockingly discriminate against any new life in the womb that might possibly be affected by a physical handicap, genetic problems or a mental defect."

Mr Parker said society should value disability and non-disability equally.

He continued: "If this issue is not addressed as we wave goodbye to the Paralympic Games from our shores, then it is hard to imagine when another opportunity of this sort will pass our way when British society and the world as a whole is celebrating the incredulous achievements of those with disabilities.

“Imagine how much lesser of a nation we would be without the lives of athletes like Ellie Simmonds, and how much greater a Britain we could be if more ‘disabled’ people of her ability were to be born, affirmed and celebrated.”