Tim Lewis looks at what each of the parties believe about abortion, and suggests how Christians can best use their vote


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The day after Rishi Sunak dropped his election bombshell the ONS released the latest abortion figures for England and Wales.

Largely ignored by the media, these devastating statistics deserve closer analysis. The data show a massive increase in both the number and percentage of abortions. For every 10 unborn children, three were killed in the womb. 252,122 lives claimed by abortion is an astonishing figure. More than the population of Southampton.

Some Christians baulk at the idea of voting based on a single issue, although there is rarely the same hesitation when it comes to other topics such as climate change or the economy. Yet it is difficult to deny that deliberately ending the lives of hundreds of thousands of precious image-bearers every year is voteworthy. So who should pro-life Christians vote for at the coming election? What are the options?

There are a handful of pro-life MPs in the main parties, although their voting records on pro-life causes are not always consistent. They also remain embedded in parties that have repeatedly demonstrated legislative indifference to the lives of unborn children.


The Conservatives are more hospitable to pro-life opinion than Labour or the Lib Dems. A number of Tory MPs are well-known for their pro-life views (Fiona Bruce, Miriam Cates and Jacob Rees-Mogg, etc) and form the core of the All-Party Parliamentary pro-life group.

Nevertheless, over the course of consecutive Tory governments the lot of the unborn child has hardly improved. It is under the Conservatives that we have seen abortion imposed on the people of Northern Ireland; the disastrous pills by post scheme (introduced by Matt Hancock ostensibly as a temporary measure) and silent prayer criminalised in so-called “buffer zones.” The last measure was the eventual outcome of an amendment originally tabled by Labour MP Rupa Huq in 2022, which the Tories could have prevented, had they directed their MPs to do so. Abortion rates have also increased during this period, in recent years exponentially so. Conservativism can hardly be compassionate when it does so little for the child in the womb.


Are Labour a better bet? A recent Evangelical Alliance survey suggests 42% of evangelicals (greater than the population at large) will vote Labour at the next election. There is obviously a strong perception that Labour will stand up for the vulnerable and marginalised. Keir Starmer has worked hard to present a moderate and centrist image. Yet on the issue of abortion, Labour could not be more hard-line. Not a single MP among the shadow cabinet identifies as pro-life. Pro-life Labour MPs (such as Rachael Maskell) do exist, but like pro-life Democrats in the States, they are a critically endangered species.

The 2019 Labour manifesto pledged to decriminalise abortion and it has consistently been Labour MPs (Stella Creasy, Diana Johnson, etc) who have pushed amendments to erode what minimal safeguards remain for the unborn. Keir Starmer’s own record on abortion is poor. While Director of Public Prosecutions in 2013 he deemed it not in the public interest to prosecute doctors who agreed to abort unborn children on sex-selective grounds.

If elected, Labour will almost certainly liberalise abortion law further, possibly decriminalising abortion entirely, meaning a surge in cases like that of Carla and Lily Foster, with nothing to prevent babies being aborted up to birth. This is the opposite of helping the vulnerable.

Liberal Democrats and Greens

Sometimes touted as a Christian alternative to the Tories and Labour, the Lib Dems were led for a while by evangelical MP Tim Farron, although he eventually stepped down “torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader.” In recent years the Lib Dems have demonstrated a marked illiberal streak, including a nasty habit of deselecting anyone with orthodox Christian beliefs – just ask David Campanale.

Their current leader Sir Ed Davey has consistently voted against pro-life causes and their manifesto pledges to enforce abortion buffer zones and potentially make further extreme changes to abortion laws.

The Green party’s manifesto contains a section on “Protecting Animals,” including an end to badger culls, but there is no similar policy to address the death toll of over a quarter of a million children in the UK each year.

A Pro-Life Alternative?

Is there a genuine pro-life alternative to the two major parties?

Yes, and helpfully they are called Vote Life! (votelife.co.uk) Vote Life are a network of independent candidates, rather than a political party, united around the aim of making abortion a defining voting issue. This election they will contest 22 seats across the country, deliberately avoiding any constituency with a vocal pro-life MP.

Founder of Vote Life, Christian Hacking, explains the rationale behind the movement: “Before this General Election everyone needs to stand before a mirror and ask themselves this question: ‘Am I about to vote for a party that supports the intentional killing of 252,000 babies a year?’ Will we vote to protect the most vulnerable lives, or continue to support a culture of death?”

Perhaps more than any previous election, there is the opportunity to vote for a range of independent candidates and parties, and express dissatisfaction at a broken political system. Alongside Vote Life, the Christian People’s Alliance (cpaparty.net), Heritage party (heritageparty.org) and Scottish Family party (scottishfamily.org) also maintain a consistent pro-life policy and manifesto, and will be fielding candidates in a number of constituencies.

Voting for smaller parties is not a “wasted vote,” but a powerful prophetic action, signalling solidarity with the oppressed, and highlighting the scale of the injustice.

What Else Can I Do?

Perhaps you don’t have a Vote Life or other pro-life candidate running in your constituency. Alongside steadfast prayer, there are plenty of other things you can do to be a voice for the voiceless. You can contact your MP and ask him or her to sign the Both Lives Pledge. Once elected you could congratulate your MP and express your continuing concerns for the unborn child.

In years to come people will look back and remember ours as the generation that allowed a genocide of unborn children – over 10 million since 1967 – this really is the defining injustice of our time. As Christians we need to be unwavering in our resolve to end this injustice – starting with our vote on 4 July.