Baroness Knight of Collingtree, who died earlier this month aged 98, was a staunch pro-lifer who had been fighting for the rights of unborn children since the Abortion Act was introduced in 1967.
Born in Bristol in 1923, Joan Christabel “Jill” Christie became an MP for Edgbaston in 1966. After her maiden speech criticised steep tax bills facing charities, she soon turned her attention to fighting against attempts to remove the right to life for unborn babies through the introduction of abortion.
In 1967, she campaigned against David Steel’s Abortion Bill that sought to remove the right to life for unborn babies through to 28 weeks gestation. This was the first time that British law removed basic legal protections, the right to life, from a group of its own citizens. She worked hard to attempt to improve the Bill in committee, and delivered a petition with over half a million signatures to Downing Street objecting to the Abortion Bill. Once the Bill received Royal Assent, she said that “backstreet abortion butchery” had been legalised.
The Baroness supported every attempt to reduce the time limit or tighten the grounds for legal abortion in the following three decades.
In a visit to the Michigan state legislature in 1969, the year after the Abortion Act had come into effect, she said that Britain was the abortion capital of the world.
Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “Baroness Knight was uncompromisingly and unashamedly pro-life. We hope that more politicians will follow her example and speak out against abortion”.