British Liberal Democrat Leader: Limit Abortions Further

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 11, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 11
, 2005

London, England ( — Charles Kennedy, leader of the Liberal Democrats in the British parliament says he agrees with a call by Conservatives to limit the time in which an abortion can be legally performed.

British law currently prohibits, with exceptions, abortions after 24 weeks. Conservatives and religious leaders want to scale that back to 20 weeks.

Kennedy says he doesn’t think abortion should be a political issue in the next elections and said members of Parliament should be allowed to vote on the matter.

The comments, reported in the BBC, come one month after Tory leader Michael Howard called for further abortion limits in the wake of investigations that have found late-term abortions are being arranged with greater frequency than previously thought.

However, Prime Minister Tony Blair says he has no plans to change the abortion time limit.

More than 180,000 abortions occurred in Great Britain last year and nearly 2,000 of them were within the time frame the new limits would prohibit.

Abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy are only supposed to be done when doctors find the unborn child is severely physically disabled.