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Lord Steel reveals his priority for liberalised abortion, says SPUC

20 July 2004

Lord Steel reveals his priority for liberalised abortion, says SPUC Westminster, 20 July 2004 - The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has again warned pro-lifers against giving any support to a review of abortion law, following a short debate in the House of Lords today. Lord Steel of Aikwood, the pioneer of the 1967 Abortion Act, said today that a parliamentary select committee "could usefully review" whether Britain should copy the laws of other European countries which allow abortion on demand in early pregnancy and whether the signatures of two doctors should still be required for legal permission of an abortion. When Lord Warner, the health minister, denied that Lord Steel was also calling for the upper time-limit for abortions to be lowered to 12 weeks' gestation, Lord Steel remained conspicuously silent. In marked contrast to recent media reports of remarks by the Prime Minister, Lord Warner said new 3D ultrasound pictures of the unborn child "did not contribute to the abortion debate", stated that the government had "no plans to change the law on abortion" and did not endorse the establishment of a committee to review the upper time-limit. Anthony Ozimic, SPUC political secretary, commented: "Today's debate provides further evidence that it is wishful thinking to believe that Lord Steel is interested in tightening the abortion law. The agenda seems to be to tidy up unfinished business from the previous round of abortion liberalisation in 1990, by removing any legal sanction against abortion in (at least) the first 12 weeks of pregnancy."

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