British Lawmaker Will Propose Revised Bill to Limit Late-Term Abortions

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 14, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Lawmaker Will Propose Revised Bill to Limit Late-Term Abortions Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 14
, 2006

London, England ( — A British lawmaker who failed in her previous bid to put more limits in place on late-term abortions has said she will come back with a revised version of the legislation. Current British law allows abortions to be done for virtually any reason until 24 weeks into pregnancy.

Tory MP Nadine Dorries previously failed to get approval in October for a measure that would push the limit to 21 weeks.

Her new proposal calls for a halt to abortions at 20 weeks and a one-week reflection period between the request for the abortion and when it’s done, shorter than the 10 day period in her previous bill.

Dorries told the BBC that she wants the late-term abortion limits because the method used to kill the unborn child is "barbaric."

She described how the abortion practitioner gives the baby a lethal injection and that the dead baby is delivered on the second day of the abortion procedure.

"Clearly this is a barbaric practice and I will not stop campaigning until it is outlawed," she told the BBC.

"How can it possibly be right that on one hospital ward we have doctors working to save the life of a baby born at 22 weeks, yet on another a doctor is aborting one of the same gestation?" Dorries added.

Abortion advocates oppose Dorries’ efforts to reduce late-term abortions and Labour MP Chris McCafferty called the measure "an attack on women’s reproductive rights."

Dorries told the BBC she wants the bill considered next month when England marks the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act, which allowed unlimited abortions through 24 week of pregnancy.

Her first bill, which failed on a 187-108 vote, 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.

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.

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

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