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50 years on: On the eve of the anniversary, advocates push for more and more abortion

26 October 2017


Diana Johnson MP presenting her decriminalisation bill.  

Is 8.8 million lives lost not enough for them?

Tomorrow, 27 October, marks 50 years since the Abortion Act of 1967 was signed into law. Since then, 8,894,355 million babies have been lost to abortion. But the abortion lobby, backed by MPs such as Diana Johnson, are pushing to make the situation even worse, by removing abortion from the criminal law entirely. 

"Reforming" abortion

This week, a conference on the Act took place at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, put on by the University of Bristol Law school, and heavily promoted by bpas. It featured a whole line up of abortion activists, doctors and MPs, all advocating "reform", as could be seen from all the people live-tweeting the conference using the hashtag #AbortionAct50.

A quick glance through the tweets shows that delegates spoke in favour of sex-selective abortion, advocated abortion in countries where it is illegal, abortion for "defective" children, and home abortions.

One of the speakers was Diana Johnson, who last year tabled a ten-minute rule bill with the aim of decriminalising abortion. According to people at the conference, she is now intending to shortly publish the text of a decriminalisation bill (though, given that she does not have a slot for a private members bill this session, it's unclear how she plans to get it through Parliament). The Guardian also reports that "Johnson is now working on draft legislation for a full–blown decriminalisation bill."

 

Other tweets made it clear that Ms Johnson is aiming to remove the requirement for two doctors to sign off an abortion, allow nurses and midwives to carry them out, and allow abortion bills to be taken at home.

Although she claims that abortion will not be "deregulated" and the 24 week limit will remain, the We Trust Women Campaign, which actively promotes the decriminalisation and Diana Johnson's previous bill explicitly states on its website that if abortion were decriminalised "the abortion time limit would be removed from criminal law." Ms Johnson's bill referred to the "repeal [of] certain criminal offences" relating to terminations; this left it unclear if the Infant Life Preservation Act, which protects life after 28 weeks gestation, would be repealed. Therefore, decriminalisation would allow abortions either up to 28 weeks, or with no time limits at all. 

The conference took place in a week in which "human rights" organisations are seeking to remove the right to life from babies in Northern Ireland via the courts. 

News in brief:

 

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