MP presses for abortion law change

PUBLISHED: 16:52 19 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 06 May 2010

A BACKBENCH MP campaigning to reduce the time during pregnancy when an abortion is legally available will take her argument to the House of Commons. Nadine Dorries, MP for Mid Beds, has recently stood down from the parliamentary select committee on educat

A BACKBENCH MP campaigning to reduce the time during pregnancy when an abortion is legally available will take her argument to the House of Commons.

Nadine Dorries, MP for Mid Beds, has recently stood down from the parliamentary select committee on education and skills to prepare her Termination of Pregnancy Bill.

She has secured a 10-Minute Rule Bill - a type of private member's Bill allowing a backbench MP to introduce their own Bill by giving a 10-minute speech in support of their proposal.

She said: "The objective of my Bill is to reduce the time limit for legal termination of pregnancy from 24 to 21 weeks.

"I fully endorse a woman's right to choose but that right should be upheld by humanity and responsibility.

"It is unacceptable, in this day and age, that the legal age at which a foetus can be aborted is 24 weeks - six months.

"Medical advancement in the area of neonatal care has moved on dramatically and life is often supported outside the womb as early as 20 weeks.

"The Bill also aims to introduce a 10-day cooling off period after a woman has first made contact with a medical practitioner about a termination.

"It is vitally important that the principle of informed consent is established before any woman makes the decision to terminate a pregnancy," said Mrs Dorries.

"However, should the decision be to terminate, once this cooling off period has finished, my Bill would ensure that a woman could be fast-tracked for a termination."

Julia Millington, political director for ProLife Alliance, said: "Any attempt to save unborn lives is a step in the right direction.

"However, we would like to see a Bill go much further and make greater inroads into our very liberal abortion provision.

"We would welcome the introduction of a cooling-off period so women are given all the information and have time to reflect on it."

The Bill is due to be tabled in the House of Commons on October 31.


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