British Labour Party MPs Want Free Vote on Upcoming Abortion Bill

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 6, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Labour Party MPs Want Free Vote on Upcoming Abortion Bill Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 6,

London, England ( — Members of the British Labor Party are requesting that Prime Minister Gordon Brown give them a free vote on the upcoming Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. They don’t want to be held to the government’s position on its legislation, which promotes in-vitro fertilization and could be used to promote abortion.

The measure removes the requirement that fertility clinics be sure that a father is involved in the care for any child he creates.

It also opens the door to allowing scientists to make human-animal hybrids or chimera for research and eventually destroy the creations.

Meanwhile, some pro-abortion MPs have promised to attach pro-abortion language to the bill that could allow nurses to do abortions, remove the requirement that two doctors certify an abortion or allow them to be done in a non-hospital setting.

Labour MP Joe Benton, who is the secretary of a multi-partisan group of pro-life lawmakers, doesn’t want to be forced to vote for any of those provisions and he told The Universe newspaper, "I am appealing to like-minded people to write to the three party leaders, urging them to allow a free vote on the bill."

“I certainly think there should be [a free vote]. There is definitely material there for objections of conscience," he added.

Labour MP Geraldine Smith, a member of the pro-life caucus in the parliament, agreed.

“These are matters of conscience and not party political issues," Smith said.

Some pro-life lawmakers hope to use the pending legislation as a means to reduce the number of late-term abortions. They want to lower the current 24 week time limit on doing abortions to 20 weeks into pregnancy.

They say modern technology such as 3-D and 4-D ultrasounds shows the humanity of the unborn child and that doctors are now able to save the lives of prematurely born babies better than ever before.

One leading pro-life group has opposed that call to lower the limit because it worries it will open the door to more abortions.