MP seeks abortion limit reduction

Nadine Dorries wants the abortion limit to be lowered to 20 weeks
Nadine Dorries wants the abortion limit to be lowered to 20 weeks

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has launched a parliamentary campaign today to reduce the upper limit for abortions.

The MP for Mid Bedforshire wants to see the limit reduced from 24 weeks to 20.

As she launched the campaign she warned Britain is close to becoming the abortion capital of the world, with 600 terminations carried out each day.

The issue will be debated as the human fertilisation and embryology bill goes before the House of Commons later this month.


Ms Dorries said she respects a woman's right to choose whether to have an abortion but argued that too many terminations are being carried out in the UK and that abortions are now being used as a form of contraception.

She has launched a new website, www.the20weekscampaign.org, to outline her arguments for lowering the current abortion limit.

Some campaigners, including the British Medical Association (BMA) want the 24-week limit to be maintained as they believe there is no evidence to suggest the fetus is viable before this stage.

But supporters of lowering the limit say developments in the past few years mean the fetus could survive if born that prematurely.

"It is time to send a new signal about abortion, a less casual message, bringing Britain into line with the rest of Europe," said Ms Dorries.

"With an increasing number of babies surviving at 24 weeks or below, we now have the absurd situation where doctors are battling to save premature babies in one part of the hospital and ending life in another part at exactly the same point of gestation."

The campaign is being supported by consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Vincent Argent, former medical director of British Pregnancy Advisory Service, and Dr Peter Saunders, general secretary of the Christian Medical Fellowship.

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