British Pro-Life Advocates Regroup After Losing Late-Term Abortion Votes

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 21, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Pro-Life Advocates Regroup After Losing Late-Term Abortion Votes

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 21
, 2008

London, England ( — British pro-life advocates are regrouping after losing several votes on Tuesday to put more limits on late-term abortions in place. They hoped to reduce the 24-week abortion limit to at least 20- or 22-weeks but wound up losing on lopsided multi-partisan votes.

MP Nadine Dorries led the effort and she said the votes against limiting late-term abortions have left her "frustrated and completely exhausted" after fighting for 18 months to put more limits in place.

"I was flabbergasted by what went on in parliament," she told the Luton Today newspaper. "I despaired when I heard speeches from MPs which included information that just was not true."

"I also spoke to MPs who obviously hadn’t read the bill that they were soon to be voting on – how can they say they represent the people?" she added.

Despite the result, Dorries told the paper she will press on with a campaign to promote better sexual education.

"We’ve worked hard over the past 18 months and we’ve changed the view of a lot of people who would previously have considered a later abortion," she concluded. "If the life of a single child has been saved by the campaign, I’m happy."

Julia Millington of the Alive and Kicking Alliance, says the vote is upsetting but she points to polls showing public opinion more strongly against late-term abortions as a result of the efforts.

“There have been almost 7 million abortions in Britain since 1967; now 200,000 a year and 600 per day," she said.

"But the tide of public opinion against late abortions has turned. Two out of three people, including three out of four women, and two out of three doctors have signaled their support for a lowering of the 24-week upper limit," Millington added.

"This change has come about as a result of advances in neonatal care and our growing understanding of the humanity of the baby in the womb, coupled with the realization that Britain is significantly out of step with the European average of 13 weeks," she continued.

Pro-life groups and MPs are now forced to contend with an amendment that would remove the requirement for two doctors to sign off on an abortion beforehand.

They say that would only expand the number of abortions in the UK.