British MPs Propose Expanding Abortions in Amendments to Pro-Cloning Bill

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 19, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British MPs Propose Expanding Abortions in Amendments to Pro-Cloning Bill

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 19
, 2008

London, England ( — As expected, British MPs have proposed amendments to the pro-human cloning bill Parliament is currently debating. The amendments touch on the involvement of abortion practitioners and would repeal the current requirement that two physicians sign off on any abortion.

MPs Evan Harris (of the Liberal Democrat party), Chris McCafferty (Labour), John Bercow (Conservative) and Katy Clark (Labour) are behind the pro-abortion proposals.

The amendments allow abortions with the approval of just one doctor, both before and after the upper limit for most abortions. Also, medical practitioners will no longer have to form their opinion ‘in good faith’ which applies in all situations under the current abortion law.

John Smeaton, the national director of SPUC, the British pro-life group, told there are other changes proposed by the MPs which reduce accountability on the part of doctors.

"These amendments will send the message to doctors: ‘when you decide a woman should have an abortion, you don’t need to justify your decision or worry about what other doctors will think,’" he said.

In addition to promoting more destruction of babies before birth, the amendments would also violate women’s health, Smeaton said.

"If MPs vote for such amendments they will show they care as little for health and welfare of women as they do for unborn children," he added.

SPUC is calling on pro-life advocates to contact their members of Parliament and urge a vote against the amendments when they come up on Tuesday.

The proposal to change the two-doctor requirement originally came from shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley who said he favored it as a compromise to go along with a reduction in late-term abortions.

"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 initial 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."

Meanwhile, the House of Commons may also consider an amendment that would place more limits on late-term abortions. Some lawmakers hope to reduce the allowance from 24 weeks into pregnancy to either 22 or 20 weeks.

When it does, Prime Minister Gordon Brown will not support the move.

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