Wednesday 21 May 2008

Abortion weeks amendments rejected, attack on unborn babies expected to intensify

SPUC expresses grave concern at the large numbers of MPs who voted with the pro-abortion lobby tonight in the House of Commons. MPs were voting on proposed changes to the Abortion Act 1967 via amendments to the government's Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill.

None of the amendments seeking to lower the 24 week time limit, which applies to most social abortions, was passed. The number of MPs voting with the pro-abortion lobby exceeding 390. Amendments to widen access to abortion very considerably are expected to be tabled at the bill's report stage. Some pro-abortion amendments had been tabled before tonight's committee stage, but were withdrawn prior to tonight's debate.

Pro-lifers must now redouble their efforts to stop pro-abortion amendments being incorporated into the government's embryo bill at its report stage. These amendments may include removing the requirement for two doctors to certify medical grounds for an abortion, and promoting nurses as abortion practitioners. More babies will die if such amendments are passed.

SPUC has for many years warned MPs not to table amendments seeking to lower time limits on abortion, in the light of the current Parliament's overwhelming pro-abortion majority. Contary to erroneous media reports, the upper time limit for all abortions is not 24 weeks, as abortion up to birth has been allowed since 1990 where an unborn child has been deemed to be seriously handicapped or in certain other circumstances.

MPs voted to reject lowering the 24 week social abortion limit to:

12 weeks - rejected by 393 votes to 71

16 weeks - 387 to 84

20 weeks - 332 to 190

22 weeks - 304 to 233

An amendment to require information to be offered to mothers prior to the abortion of a disabled child was also defeated by 309 to 173.