Tuesday 13 May 2008

Urge MPs to vote against pro-abortion amendments

At the first debate ("Second Reading") on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) bill in the House of Commons on Monday 12th May, MPs voted 340 to 78 for the bill. (Please note that certain media e.g. the Telegraph reported the vote numbers incorrectly). We had not expected to win - but this is nonetheless a very heavy blow to us all. It now goes to its committee stage.

There are more battles we must fight over the bill in coming weeks and months.

Next week there will be debates on Monday and Tuesday. Please urge your MP to attend and vote against anti-life measures on Monday and Tuesday, and ask others to do the same. We must ask sympathetic MPs particularly to attend the abortion debate on Tuesday the 20th. MPs should be asked to VOTE AGAINST PRO-ABORTION AMENDMENTS - whatever else they do on any other amendment. The most important thing is to vote against the pro-abortion amendments. Visit http://www.spuc.org.uk/mps for how you can contact your MP. (Please also visit SPUC's HFE bill campaign page http://www.spuc.org.uk/lobbying/hfe/ )

During the debate on 12th May, the Conservative health spokesman (Andrew Lansley) indicated that he would vote to abolish the need for two doctors to authorise an abortion, and to allow nurses to provide drug-induced abortions. These amendments would lead to more abortions than ever. Although the Conservatives are not whipping MPs to support these pro-abortion amendments, the personal backing of their health spokesman is a major factor. Labour are not imposing a whip next Tuesday either, but it was already known where the Labour health secretary Alan Johnson stands. It is equally important to urge MPs of all parties to oppose the pro-abortion amendments.

After next Tuesday, letter writing and leafleting against the bill should continue.

The chances of defeating the bill are clearly slim. Please urge all people of faith to pray that it will fall. Politics is an uncertain business, and if anything happens in the next few weeks to destabilise the government any more (e.g. poor opinion poll ratings, etc), the government could become nervous of the bill, especially if people like Cardinal O'Brien and Bishop O'Donoghue keep speaking out.

Please keep fighting with us in these dark days.