British MP Calls for Debate on More Limits on Late-Term Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 27, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British MP Calls for Debate on More Limits on Late-Term Abortions Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 27, 2006

London, England ( — Another member of the British parliament has added his voice to the growing chorus of those who want the nation to put further limits on late-term abortions. Though the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair has rejected calls to lower the abortion limit, the British parliament appears likely to eventually debate the issue.

Shipley MP Philip Davies said on Friday that changes in medical science making it easier to take care of premature babies at an earlier point in time makes it so the 24-week limit on doing abortions should be reviewed.

He said too many people can consider an abortion at that time when babies born at 24 weeks into pregnancy survive.

"This type of debate has not taken place in Westminster for more than a decade and there are so many advances that MPs need to look at changing the law," Davies said, according to British media.

"I am not against abortions it is up to the woman to make a decision but I believe 24 weeks is too far gone for a termination," he added.

Davies said he would support moving the abortion limit to 20 weeks into pregnancy.

"The case for reducing the period is compelling. Most babies born at 24 weeks survive so they should not be aborted unless under exceptional circumstances," the Tory MP said.

New limits on abortions have not been considered since 1990, but more than 60 MPs have signed onto a motion

Some of the lawmakers say that medical technology allows people to see that the unborn child is deserving of more protection thanks to ultrasound imaging that reveals the baby’s incredible development.

Health Minister Caroline Flint recently said the abortion issue would not be revisited, but she admits parliament has the ultimate decision on changing British law.

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley also agrees a debate should occur and he’s called for a free vote in parliament.

Last month, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, called on the British government to lower the limit on how late abortions can be done, but Flint said Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government would not do that.

About 185,000 abortions are done annually in Britain and 124 were done at 24 weeks of pregnancy in 2004.