MPs: Make it easier to get an abortion

Call from MPs to liberalise abortion laws

ABORTION SHOULD BE liberalised so women can get abortions more easily, a group of MPs suggest today.

The science and technology committee, which has been running an inquiry into the laws, sees no justification to reduce the upper time limit from 24 weeks.

Under current guidelines, two doctors are required to give consent for a termination. The report suggests that this should be reduced to one doctor or even a nurse. It also says that women should be allowed to take drugs to induce an abortion at home.

The proposals for liberalisation have sparked outrage among the committee’s pro-life supporters, who want to see the time limit of 24 weeks reduced along with a tightening of the laws.

The report says the committee is concerned that the requirement for two doctors’ signatures may be causing delays in access to abortion services and adds that nurses and midwives should be permitted to prescribe the drugs to

induce early medical abortion and carry out early surgical terminations.

The committee says guidance on what constitutes a serious handicap — which is used as a reason for aborting foetuses after 24 weeks — would be helpful but says an exhaustive list of conditions is not feasible.

Two pro-life members of the committee, including Conservative MP, Dr Bob Spink, have been prompted to create a reactionary minority report.

‘It is simply laughable to compare the viability of aborted babies, who would almost all otherwise be born healthy, with babies who are sadly pre-term, usually indicating pre-disposing medical problems for baby or mother. But that is what the science committee report does,’ he tells the Telegraph.

‘I will be arguing in Parliament for an end to the late abortion of healthy babies which have minor abnormalities, like club foot or a cleft palate. I will be arguing for a reduction from 24 weeks, for a tightening not relaxation of abortion laws, including resisting home abortions, the retention of two doctors’ signatures, clear guidance on what constitutes serious handicap, and much more support for women who must make these heart-wrenching decisions.’

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