British Conservative Leader Wants Abortion Time Limit Cut, Pro-Life Group Wary

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 8, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Conservative Leader Wants Abortion Time Limit Cut, Pro-Life Group Wary

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 8
, 2010

London, England ( — The leader of the British Conservative party wants to cut the time limit on late-term abortions and make it so they can’t be done after 20 weeks into pregnancy instead of the longer current limit. But, the pro-life group SPUC is wary about the proposal and says it may not truly stop abortions.

David Cameron supported a bill in the House of Commons to lower the abortion time limit and he told the Catholic Herald newspaper he may be willing to go further.

“My own view is that we do need to review the abortion limit. I think that the way medical science and technology have developed in the past few decades does mean that an upper limit of 20 or 22 weeks would be sensible," he said.

Cameron, who is engaged in an election battle against pro-abortion Prime Minister Gordon Brown indicated conservative MPs would be allowed a conscience vote on such a bill.

Cameron also warned against legalizing assisted suicide in the Catholic Herald interview, saying: “My personal view is that if assisted dying is legalized, there is a danger that terminally ill people may feel pressured into ending their lives.”

Reacting to the comments, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, warned pro-life advocates "not to fall for David Cameron’s pitch on abortion time limits."

John Smeaton, SPUC director, commented: "The issue of the upper time limit for social abortions is at best a dangerous distraction. At worst, it will entrench discrimination against disabled children and set the scene for an expansion of abortion.

"By ‘abortion limit’, Mr Cameron only means the 24-week limit for abortions done on social grounds. As he made clear in August 2008, he wants abortion up to birth on disabled children to remain available," Smeaton said. "Cameron is only endorsing a reduction of two to four weeks (and for social abortions only). This ignores the vast majority (87% or more) of abortions which are performed before 12 weeks. Only one to two per cent of abortions are performed after 20 weeks. There is a serious danger of MPs who back a cosmetic lowering of the upper time-limit for social abortions of voting in favor of wider access to social abortions earlier in pregnancy."

Smeaton pointed out that, in the last session of parliament, all the amendments calling for reductions in the upper time limit for social abortions were rejected by large majorities.

"There is no reason to believe that the new parliament will be significantly less pro-abortion than the old one. Most MPs will only accept restrictions on late-term abortions in return for measures making abortion more easily available in other ways," he said.

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