British Parliament Rejects Bill to Limit Some Late-Term Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 31, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Parliament Rejects Bill to Limit Some Late-Term Abortions Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 31
, 2006

London, England ( — The British parliament has rejected a measure that would have placed some limits on late-term abortions. The legislation had divided the pro-life community with some supporting the limits and others saying they didn’t go far enough and contained too many exceptions to adequately protect unborn children.

On Tuesday evening, MPs voted against cutting the time limit for abortions from 24 weeks into pregnant to 21 and to introduce a 10-day waiting period before an abortion could be done.

Nadine Dorries, a Conservative MP who supports legal abortion, introduced the bill and said it was needed because better ultrasounds have shown the humanity of unborn children in later stages of pregnancy.

"The evidence is overwhelming and compelling that the time has now come to reduce the date to 21 weeks," she said. "It is 2006, not 1967 and not 1990. Time and medical technology have moved on and so has the mood of the nation."

But, Labour MP Christine McCafferty called the measure "cynical, cruel, ill-informed and most of all inhumane," according to a BBC news report.

MPs voted 187-108 against the late-term abortion limits.

There are about 180,000 abortions done annually in England and Wales and about 3,000 late-term abortions are done each year.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children previously said it opposed the bill because it limited some abortions but "abandons" disabled babies who have non life-threatening conditions.

Anthony Ozimic, the political secretary for SPUC said the Dorries bill applied only to abortions for socioeconomic reasons and didn’t affect abortions done on babies because they have a disability — even one as minor as a cleft palate. Such abortions are allowed up until birth, he explained.

"This means that Mrs. Dorries’ bill will mean abandoning disabled babies, who will still be allowed to be killed up to birth. Such lethal discrimination is entirely unacceptable in a civilized society," Ozimic said.

Ozimic also said his group is concerned that Dorries continually criticizes pro-life advocates and worries that she is insincere in her quest to place more limits on abortions.

"Mrs. Dorries’ attack upon the pro-life movement — accusing it of having ‘ghettoized the arguments,’ ‘stifled debate,’ ‘halted progress’ and ‘used an emotional line of reasoning’ — is simply ill-informed,” he explained.

Related web sites:
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children –