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Abortion up-to-birth bill to be heard by Parliament

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A bill to completely decriminalise abortion will be brought before Parliament this month.

Diana Johnson's Abortion (Decriminalisation): Ten Minute Rule Bill will have its first reading on 13 March.

Under the Abortion Act 1967, abortion is illegal except in limited circumstances. This bill calls for the decriminalisation of abortion, without specifying any restrictions. This would allow abortion up to birth, on demand, for any reason.

Not in Our name, originally launched to protest the Royal College of Midwives' support for the BPAS 'We Trust Women' campaign, is calling on the public to oppose this dangerous bill.

Find out on the Not in Our Name website how to take further action, including emailing your MP to ask them to oppose the bill at first reading.

No protections against late-term or 'gender-abortions'

The radical bill follows a campaign launched last year by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS). The UK's largest abortion provider launched 'We Trust Women', claiming that abortion should be entirely the decision of the pregnant mother, and that mothers who choose to have abortions should not be prosecuted.

BPAS is currently asking people to email their MP in support of this bill.

If it were to become law, abortion would effectively be available on demand. Even 'gender-abortion' would not be expressly prohibited.

Other concerns include the lack of protections against mail-order abortion pills, or pills being handed to students by school nurses.

Does not reflect wishes of British public

Despite pressure from BPAS, other abortion providers and organisations such as the British Humanist Association, this bill far from reflects the wishes of the British public.

A YouGov poll from 2011 showed that 88% of women in the UK either want to keep the current law and time limit as it is, or restrict it further.

Only 2% of women wanted to extend the abortion limit beyond 24 weeks.

Another poll from March 2014 showed that 88% of women favoured an explicit ban on sex-selective abortion. In the same poll, 92% of women agreed that a woman requesting an abortion should always be seen in person by a qualified doctor.

'Deeply concerned'

Conservative MP for Lewes, Maria Caulfied, commented: "We are surprised and deeply concerned that such a radical proposal is being brought forward. To remove all legal restrictions on terminations would allow abortion at any stage of pregnancy, for any reason. 

"What would stop the serious potential abuses? Already within our current legal framework we have seen doctors pre-signing forms, gender-selective abortions being offered, live babies being left to die following abortions that have gone wrong and children with minor disabilities, such as cleft palate, being aborted.

"It is alarming that in the midst of such abuse of the current law, it is being seriously proposed to parliament that we join a tiny handful of countries such as China and Vietnam where abortion is legal on demand until birth."

Pushed by abortion industry for profit

Labour MP Rob Flello said: "Bringing this dangerous and radical proposal before Parliament is significant as it gives the impression that such an idea holds some sort of weight with the general population. It does not.

"This move is being pushed by the abortion industry who would profit from all legal restrictions being lifted from their practices."

Visit the Not in Our Name website how to take further action.

Related Links: 
The Royal College of Midwives supports abortion up to birth 
Activists’ attempt to legalise abortion on demand up until birth is both unnecessary and unwanted (Christian Medical Fellowship)
Stop Diana Johnson MP's Abortion Up to Birth Bill (Citizen GO)