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Catholic Church opens first anti-abortion campaign office in Scotland
The Catholic Church has opened a "pro-life office" in Scotland to co-ordinate a campaign against abortion.
Senior cleric, Archbishop Leo Cushley, cut the ribbon at the opening of the new Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh Pro-Life Office in Edinburgh, just three days after the Republic of Ireland voted to overturn a ban on the procedure.
Speaking to the Sunday Herald, Archbishop Cushley said the new office would aim to build a "democratic consensus" around "legislative change" in Scotland, where terminations are permitted during the first 24 weeks.
The office - which is the first of its kind in Scotland - is headed up by a "Pro-Life Officer" who will be tasked with co-ordinating a network of volunteers in 103 parishes which make up the archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh.
Reflecting on the results of the recent referendum in The Republic of Ireland, Archbishop Cushley said: "One of the many lessons of the recent referendum in Ireland is that those of us who seek to promote a culture of life have a distance to go in terms of winning over hearts and minds to the pro-life cause and that, really, is one of the key tasks of our new pro-life office.
"Whether it be in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland or Scotland, legislative change will only follow the building of a democratic consensus around a culture of life, and that will only come if those of us who are pro-life can articulate our case with an intellectual coherence that is coupled to a deep compassion for mothers, children, families and the common good of wider society."
Meanwhile, the landslide victory for the repeal side has prompted an unsuccessful Supreme Court appeal over the legality of Northern Ireland's abortion restrictions, which only permits terminations if a woman's life is at risk or if there is a risk of permanent and serious damage to her mental or physical health.
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