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Friday 28th October 2016

Every Parliament must debate abortion

9th June 2008

The Telegraph argues that each successive Parliament should review the abortion law.


Few issues raise more profound questions of morality than a vote in the House of Commons on abortion.

But since it was legalised 40 years ago, the debate tends to focus on the upper limit for termination, primarily because babies can now survive even when born at 23 weeks.

However, in the UK there are few abortions at more than 22 weeks but 200,000 at 12 weeks or under, a figure no-one imagined would be so high when abortion was legalised in 1967. That is coupled with the highest number of teenage pregnancies in western Europe and a rise in the cases of sexually transmitted disease.

In an age where the government offers advice on alcohol, smoking, drugs and diet there is no similar effort on advising women about the “medical and psychological trauma of abortion.�

Likewise, there is not sufficient emphasis placed on adoption rather than abortion.

It is important that abortions are not made easier, and the idea of lunchtime abortions or that a single doctor’s approval is needed should be resisted.

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has allowed this subject to be revisited in an amendment to the Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, despite intimidation.

This is the first debate on the subject in the House of Commons since 1990, but we should not have to wait for an appropriate legislation move to debate such a subject. Each Parliament should be given the opportunity to review the law in this area.


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