What we do
Campaigns & Events
Abortion in N. Ireland
"I need help..."
Make a Donation
Find us on Facebook
26 / 02 / 2008 - Conservative Party Calls for Reduced Abortion Limit
LONDON - Opposition leader David Cameron declared his support for a reduction of the legal time limit for abortions on Monday.
Cameron said he would vote for the current 24-week deadline for abortions to be lowered to 20 or 21 weeks. Parliament will debate a new Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill in the next few weeks, and many MPs want to use the bill as an opportunity for debating the abortion limits. It will be the first time the abortion limits have been debated in the UK since the 24-week law was passed in 1990. Before 1990, the abortion limit in the UK was set at 28 weeks.
"I would like to see a reduction in the current limit, as it is clear that, due to medical advancement, many babies are surviving at 24 weeks," said Cameron. "If there is an opportunity in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, I will be voting to bring this limit down from 24 weeks. This must, however, remain a conscience issue and a free vote."
Critics of the 1990 limits say that the abortion limit should be lowered due to the high infant survival rate at 24 weeks. Only one third of babies born between 22 and 25 weeks survived twenty years ago, while recent numbers show a survival rate of over 70 percent for the same time period.
"With the factual evidence we have, there can be no reason why any MP could, with all conscience, agree to the 24-week limit," said Nadine Dorries, a former nurse and MP who has campaigned for the reduction of the abortion limit. "It's not an issue of women's rights or pro-life. The question is are we a decent and humane society, or aren't we?"
"The current 24-week time limit was set in 1990 based on the gestational age a foetus was considered viable at that time," said Julia Millington of the Pro-Life Alliance. "Neonatal medicine has progressed since then, and premature babies are capable of surviving below the current time limit."
There are further concerns over the sheer number of abortions taking place in the UK. Last year more than 200,000 abortions were performed in England and Wales.
The office of Prime Minister Gordon Brown made it clear that Brown would not favor a change in the abortion limit, for the reason that doctors are not calling for abortion reform.
"He has always made clear that he thinks we should be guided by the best medical advice on this," spokesman Michael Ellam said. "At the moment, the key organizations in the medical profession are not pressing for a review in this area."
A similar push for the reduction of the abortion limit was made by Conservative Party leaders in 2005, but never made it to the floor of Parliament.
Source : John Connolly - LifeSiteNews.com