“It would have been legal for an abortion to happen for any reason right through to birth. This would have left England and Wales with one of the most extreme abortion laws in the world.”
The charity also said that Rupa Huq, another Labour MP, decided not to take her amendment, NC42, which would have made it an offense punishable by up to two years in jail for pro-lifers to offer help to women outside abortion clinics.
Among those voicing concerns ahead of the potential vote on Diana Johnson’s amendment was Bishop John Sherrington, lead bishop for life issues at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
“The implications of this amendment would permit the free choice of abortion without restriction. The protections of the present legislation would be swept away,” the auxiliary bishop of Westminster archdiocese said July 4.
“Please pray that this amendment will be rejected by the Speaker as beyond the scope of this particular legislation and, if debated, is rejected.”
More than 800 medical professionals also issued an open letter calling on Johnson to withdraw the amendment.
They wrote: “As health professionals, where required, we are responsible for the care of both women and their babies throughout pregnancy and childbirth. It would be very difficult for us to work in a health service where the lives of these babies could be ended for any reason up to birth and where current legal safeguards around abortion, many of which are there to protect women, have been removed.”