A British Minister of Parliament has proposed decreasing the time period for legalized abortion, saying Britain’s permissive abortion laws put it at risk of becoming Europe’s “Abortion Capital.”
According to BBC News, Tory MP Nadine Dorries, a former nurse, has proposed an amendment to the Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill to lower the upper limit on legal abortion from 24 weeks to 20 weeks.
“Britain has 200,000 abortions a year, or 600 a day. That is just too many, we must slow down on abortion,” Dorries said. While saying she respected “a woman’s right to choose,” she said babies born at 24 weeks are increasingly surviving.
“It is now time to adopt a more moderate, commonsense approach to abortion,” she said.
Dorries has made several previous attempts to reduce the upper limit.
Junior health minister Ann Keen argued that only 12 percent of babies born less that 24 weeks into pregnancy survive their first birthday, claiming that there was “no evidence of a significant improvement” in survival rates in the last 18 years in the United Kingdom.
The British Medical Association and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have both said they favor the present 24-week limit, the BBC reports.
Conservative MP Philip Hollobone said it was “truly appalling” that in England in 2006 there were 59,687 abortions by women who had already had at least one abortion.
Backers of the present time limit are proposing their own bill that would further deregulate abortion by eliminating the need for two doctors to agree to an abortion procedure. It would also allow nurses to carry out abortions in the early stages of pregnancy.
MPs will reportedly be allowed a free vote on any abortion-related amendments.