Conservative British MP Wants to Cut Late-Term Abortions to 22 Weeks

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 13, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Conservative British MP Wants to Cut Late-Term Abortions to 22 Weeks

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 13
, 2008

London, England ( — While pro-life British MPs originally wanted to tighten the limit on late-term abortions from 24 weeks into pregnancy to 20, it appears that may not happen. A leading Conservative MP appears more interested in a compromise measure that would tighten the late-term abortion limit to 22 weeks.

In exchange for reducing late-term abortion, they are willing to go along with a government proposal to remove the requirement that two physicians sign off on any abortion.

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley told MPs he wants the 22 week limit instead of the 20 week one MP Nadine Dorries is pushing.

"I personally would argue to 22 weeks in order to ensure a prospective legal framework which could accommodate improving medical science," he said, according to the Evening Standard.

He also said he wanted to make it easier for women to get abortions earlier in pregnancy and said he supported a move to dispense with the two-doctor requirement.

"If a woman needs an abortion…then it must be better for that to be an early and medical abortion, rather than later and surgical," he said during the House of Commons debate. "Therefore, the House should consider whether the request for two doctors to provide approval, and the restriction on a nurse providing a medical abortion require to be maintained."

Ann Furedi, of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service abortion business, told Marie Claire she supports removing the two-physician requirement.

"We completely agree that it is ludicrously anachronistic that two doctors should have to certify that a woman meets the legal grounds for abortion," she said.

Government officials told the British media they would not challenge the idea, meaning it’s almost a certainty the requirement will be lifted.

The British Parliament could vote on several amendments designed to limit abortions to 22 or 20 weeks or push them as far back as 12 weeks into pregnancy, putting England in line with other European nations.