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03 / 07 / 2008 - Further abortion amendments to HFE Bill
Further amendments to the 1967 Abortion Act have been tabled for the "Report Stage" of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Bill.
The amendments are regarding the number of doctors required to give approval for an abortion; the definition of "seriously handicapped" babies that can be killed; and locations where abortions can take place.
Currently, two doctors approval is required for an abortion. Labour MP Frank Field has tabled an amendment to change the law so that only one doctor's approval is required for abortions carried out up to 13 weeks in pregnancy; two doctors' approval for abortions carried out between 13 and 24 weeks of pregnancy; and three doctors' approval for abortions carried out after 24 weeks up to birth.
The law also currently allows abortions to be carried out because the child may be “seriously handicapped”. Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has tabled an amendment to change the definition of the term “seriously handicapped” so that it does not include club foot, cleft lip, cleft palate or cleft lip and palate.
Conservative MP Jacqui Lait MP has tabled an amendment to allow abortions to be carried out in any location where a 'health care' provider provides 'care' under a NHS contract.