British Abortion Law Architect Speaks, Helath Minister Comments on Limits

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 24, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Abortion Law Architect Speaks, Helath Minister Comments on Limits Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 24,

London, England ( — Speaking at a pro-abortion conference organized by Marie Stopes International, one of the leading abortion businesses in England, the architect of the nation’s legal abortion law admitted there are too many abortions there. However, Lord Steel said he wants to see the laws loosened further so more can be done.

"Abortion should not be regarded as long-stop [back-up] contraception, and, as a society, we need to address these issues, as well as the questions of sexual ethics and sex education," he said.

The number of abortions in England is on the rise and approaching 200,000.

Last year, government figures showed 193,700 abortions in England and Wales in 2006 compared to 186,400 in 2005. The number of repeat abortions and those done on teenagers are on the rise.

According to a London Guardian report, Steel said there were "too many abortions" and a lack study as to why they are going up.

At the same time, he added that there was "no such thing" as a correct number of abortions.

Steel told the conference he wants abortions to be done "as early as possible" in pregnancy to avoid potential complications and said he favored ending the requirement that two physicians sign off on an abortion.

Steel’s speech coincides with the 40th anniversary of the abortion law he sponsored in the British parliament in 1967.

Meanwhile, Dawn Primarolo, the junior health minister, told the science and technology committee of parliament that there is no reason to justify reducing the abortion limits from 24 weeks into pregnancy.

Current British law sets that limit for all abortions and others done for health reasons or because the baby is disabled can go further.

Lawmakers are considering lowering those limits because the age of viability has been pushed forward and because newer ultrasound technology has shown the humanity of the unborn.

Primarolo said 89 percent of all abortions were already done in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy and that such late-term abortions were rare.