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Bill providing counselling for women contemplating abortion is defeated in parliament

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7th June 2007

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Abortion Bill

A ‘Ten minute rule Bill’ introduced by Conservative backbench MP and Vice-Chairman of the all-Parliamentary Pro-Life group, Ann Winterton, sought to introduce counselling for all women contemplating an abortion.

The Termination of Pregnancy (Counselling and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill was defeated on the 5th June in the Commons by 182 votes to 107 votes. The list of how MPs voted can be found at the bottom of this e-mail (see also the link, below, to the debate that took place before the vote).  

We strongly recommend the article “What they don’t tell you at the clinic” (The Times, 6th June 2007) which can be accessed via the link, below.

Ann Winterton’s proposed legislation included the idea that women considering abortion should receive proper counselling warning them of possible dangers to their physical and mental health, informing them of alternative help available, and providing them with a seven day “cooling off” period before making a final decision.

The importance of such a Bill can be seen from the recent comments of one young woman who had an abortion: “I had the pregnancy test on Monday, had a scan on Tuesday and the abortion on Wednesday, and no one asked me if I was sure.”

The Bill also required doctors to state on the notification forms whether the abortion was carried out on the grounds of the threat posed by the continuation of the pregnancy to the physical or mental health of the mother. Currently the two grounds (physical or mental) are combined which obscures the real reasons for the abortion and prevents any scrutiny of whether the legal test set out under the Abortion Act 1967 has actually been fulfilled.

During the Parliamentary debate, Mrs Winterton raised concerns that there was a current culture of abortion ‘on demand’, stating, “At present, abortion on demand is carried out on the catch-all ground of risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the woman. Members will be interested to learn that of 186,416 abortions on resident women in 2005, 178,341 were carried out on that ground—96 per cent in total under that criterion.”

 

Mrs Winterton further elaborated on concerns that “An increasing number of doctors are becoming seriously concerned about the possible effects of abortion on women involved in this destructive form of medicine”.

We also recommend an excellent article from The Times (see link below) on the need for awareness to be raised about the physical and mental health problems caused by abortion. The story raises serious issues, explaining that


“From the analysis of all published data on the subject, from the mid-1990s to last year, from France to Finland, Australia to Germany, we can say that abortion almost certainly produces a doubling in the premature delivery rate.“


premature births don’t just mean putting the mite into an incubator. There are real risks of handicap, of blindness or deafness, but chiefly of cerebral palsy, especially if the baby is born at 28 weeks or before. So, if a woman intends having an abortion she might at least like to be told that she’s increasing her chances of a problem pregnancy next time.”

 Links


LCF urge police to investigate abortion



THE Chief Constable of Cheshire, Mr Peter Fahy, has been urged to launch an immediate investigation into a possible illegal termination of a 28-week-old baby whose mother lives in the Chester area.

 

In a letter to Mr Fahy, sent by the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship (LCF) acting on information by concerned doctors, nurses and members of the public, the police chief's attention was drawn to a story reported in The Sunday Times on May 20th (see link below), regarding the abortion of a baby after 28 weeks gestation.

Under the 1967 Abortion Act (as amended by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990) doctors are protected from prosecution if they perform an abortion, but only if certain criteria are fulfilled. It is illegal in the UK to abort a healthy foetus after the 24-week limit.

A similar case is being dealt with by the West Midlands constabulary where Dr Saroj Adlakha and Shilpa Abrol are due to stand trial at Birmingham Crown Court later this year for an offence of conspiracy to commit child destruction. Greater Manchester Police have also dealt with a case of child destruction.

For more information please read our press release (see link below). 

 

Links


How MPs voted on the Abortion Bill

Result of the vote on the Abortion Bill (“Ayes” voted in favour of the proposals and “Noes” voted against).

“C” is for Conservatives; “L” for Labour; “LD” for Lib Dem; “SNP” Scottish

Nationalist Party; “DUP” Demoncratic Unionist.

The House divided: Ayes 107, Noes 182.

Division No. 131

AYES

Amess, Mr. David C

Ancram, rh Mr. Michael C

Atkinson, Mr. Peter C

Bacon, Mr. Richard C

Beith, rh Mr. Alan C

Bellingham, Mr. Henry C

Benton, Mr. Joe L

Benyon, Mr. Richard C

Binley, Mr. Brian C

Bone, Mr. Peter C

Brady, Mr. Graham C

Brazier, Mr. Julian C

Brokenshire, James C

Burns, Mr. Simon C

Burrowes, Mr. David C

Carswell, Mr. Douglas C

Cash, Mr. William C

Chapman, Ben L

Conway, Derek C

Cooper, Rosie L

Cummings, John L

Curtis-Thomas, Mrs. Claire L

Davies, Mr. Dai Ind

Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth) C

Davies, Philip C

Davis, rh David (Haltemprice and Howden) C

Dorries, Mrs. Nadine C

Duncan, Alan C

Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain C

Evennett, Mr. David C

Fallon, Mr. Michael C

Farron, Tim LD

Field, rh Mr. Frank L

Field, Mr. Mark C

Foster, Mr. Don LD

Francois, Mr. Mark C

Gale, Mr. Roger C

Goodman, Mr. Paul C

Goodwill, Mr. Robert C

Gove, Michael C

Green, Damian C

Grieve, Mr. Dominic C

Hague, rh Mr. William C

Hammond, Stephen C

Hands, Mr. Greg C

Hayes, Mr. John C

Heath, Mr. David LD

Hendry, Charles C

Herbert, Nick C

Hoban, Mr. Mark C

Hollobone, Mr. Philip C

Hughes, Simon LD

Hunt, Mr. Jeremy C

Jackson, Mr. Stewart C

Kawczynski, Daniel C

Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter L

Knight, rh Mr. Greg C

Laing, Mrs. Eleanor C

Leigh, Mr. Edward C

Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver C

Lidington, Mr. David C

Lilley, rh Mr. Peter C

Luff, Peter C

MacNeil, Mr. Angus SNP

Main, Anne C

McFall, rh John L

McGovern, Mr. Jim L

McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick C

Mercer, Patrick C

Miller, Mrs. Maria C

Murphy, Mr. Denis L

Neill, Robert C

Newmark, Mr. Brooks C

Paterson, Mr. Owen C

Pelling, Mr. Andrew C

Pickles, Mr. Eric C

Pugh, Dr. John LD

Randall, Mr. John C

Redwood, rh Mr. John C

Robertson, Hugh C

Robertson, Mr. Laurence C

Rosindell, Andrew C

Rowen, Paul LD

Russell, Bob LD

Scott, Mr. Lee C

Selous, Andrew C

Spicer, Sir Michael C

Spring, Mr. Richard C

Steen, Mr. Anthony C

Streeter, Mr. Gary C

Stuart, Mr. Graham C

Swayne, Mr. Desmond C

Syms, Mr. Robert C

Taylor, Ms Dari L

Taylor, David L

Taylor, Dr. Richard Ind

Walker, Mr. Charles C

Waterson, Mr. Nigel C

Watkinson, Angela C

Weir, Mr. Mike SNP

Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann C

Willis, Mr. Phil LD

Wilson, Mr. Rob C

Wilson, Sammy DUP

Winterton, Ann C

Winterton, Sir Nicholas C

Wright, Jeremy C

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mike Penning and C

Jim Dobbin L

NOES

Alexander, Danny LD

Anderson, Mr. David L

Anderson, Janet L

Atkins, Charlotte L

Bailey, Mr. Adrian L

Banks, Gordon L

Barrett, John LD

Barron, rh Mr. Kevin L

Bayley, Hugh L

Bercow, John C

Berry, Roger L

Betts, Mr. Clive L

Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta L

Blunt, Mr. Crispin C

Brake, Tom LD

Brown, Lyn L

Bruce, rh Malcolm LD

Bryant, Chris L

Buck, Ms Karen L

Burden, Richard L

Burgon, Colin L

Burt, Lorely LD

Cable, Dr. Vincent LD

Carmichael, Mr. Alistair LD

Challen, Colin L

Chaytor, Mr. David L

Clapham, Mr. Michael L

Clark, Ms Katy L

Clarke, rh Mr. Charles L

Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth C

Clwyd, rh Ann L

Connarty, Michael L

Corbyn, Jeremy L

Creagh, Mary L

Cryer, Mrs. Ann L

Darling, rh Mr. Alistair L

Davey, Mr. Edward LD

David, Mr. Wayne L

Davidson, Mr. Ian L

Dean, Mrs. Janet L

Denham, rh Mr. John L

Devine, Mr. Jim L

Dismore, Mr. Andrew L

Dobson, rh Frank L

Doran, Mr. Frank L

Dowd, Jim L

Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth L

Eagle, Angela L

Ellman, Mrs. Louise L

Ennis, Jeff L

Fabricant, Michael C

Fisher, Mark L

Francis, Dr. Hywel L

Garnier, Mr. Edward C

George, Andrew LD

Gerrard, Mr. Neil L

Gibson, Dr. Ian L

Goldsworthy, Julia LD

Goodman, Helen L

Griffith, Nia L

Gwynne, Andrew L

Hall, Mr. Mike L

Hall, Patrick L

Harman, rh Ms Harriet L

Harris, Dr. Evan LD

Harvey, Nick LD

Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia L

Heyes, David L

Hodge, rh Margaret L

Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas C

Holmes, Paul LD

Horwood, Martin LD

Hosie, Stewart SNP

Howarth, David LD

Howarth, rh Mr. George L

Huhne, Chris LD

Hunter, Mark LD

Iddon, Dr. Brian L

Illsley, Mr. Eric L

Jackson, Glenda L

James, Mrs. Siân C. L

Johnson, Ms Diana R. L

Jones, Mr. Kevan L

Jones, Lynne L

Joyce, Mr. Eric L

Keeble, Ms Sally L

Keeley, Barbara L

Keen, Alan L

Keen, Ann L

Kemp, Mr. Fraser L

Kennedy, rh Jane L

Key, Robert C

Khan, Mr. Sadiq L

Kirkbride, Miss Julie C

Kramer, Susan LD

Lait, Mrs. Jacqui C

Lamb, Norman LD

Lancaster, Mr. Mark C

Leech, Mr. John LD

Levitt, Tom L

Lloyd, Tony L

Love, Mr. Andrew L

Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew C

MacShane, rh Mr. Denis L

Mactaggart, Fiona L

Mallaber, Judy L

Marris, Rob L

Marshall-Andrews,Mr.Robert L

Martlew, Mr. Eric L

McCarthy, Kerry L

McCarthy-Fry, Sarah L

McIsaac, Shona L

Meacher, rh Mr. Michael L

Milburn, rh Mr. Alan L

Miller, Andrew L

Mitchell, Mr. Andrew C

Moffat, Anne L

Moffatt, Laura L

Mole, Chris L

Moon, Mrs. Madeleine L

Moore, Mr. Michael LD

Morden, Jessica L

Morley, rh Mr. Elliot L

Mullin, Mr. Chris L

Naysmith, Dr. Doug L

Norris, Dan L

Olner, Mr. Bill L

Osborne, Sandra L

Ottaway, Richard C

Palmer, Dr. Nick L

Plaskitt, Mr. James L

Prentice, Mr. Gordon L

Price, Adam PLC

Prosser, Gwyn L

Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick L

Reed, Mr. Jamie L

Riordan, Mrs. Linda L

Robertson, Angus SNP

Robertson, John L

Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey L

Rogerson, Mr. Dan LD

Ruddock, Joan L

Salter, Martin L

Seabeck, Alison L

Sheridan, Jim L

Short, rh Clare L

Simmonds, Mark C

Simpson, Alan L

Singh, Mr. Marsha L

Skinner, Mr. Dennis L

Slaughter, Mr. Andy L

Smith, rh Mr. Andrew L

Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough) L

Smith, Sir Robert LD

Snelgrove, Anne L

Soulsby, Sir Peter L

Starkey, Dr. Phyllis L

Stoate, Dr. Howard L

Strang, rh Dr. Gavin L

Stringer, Graham L

Swinson, Jo LD

Swire, Mr. Hugo C

Tami, Mark L

Taylor, Matthew LD

Thornberry, Emily L

Thurso, John LD

Trickett, Jon L

Turner, Mr. Neil L

Tyrie, Mr. Andrew C

Wallace, Mr. Ben C

Waltho, Lynda L

Watson, Mr. Tom L

Whitehead, Dr. Alan L

Williams, rh Mr. Alan L

Williams, Mark L

Williams, Stephen LD

Winnick, Mr. David L

Wishart, Pete SNP

Wright, Mr. Anthony L

Wright, David L

Wright, Mr. Iain L

Wright, Dr. Tony L

Tellers for the Noes:


Barbara Follett and L

Mrs. Sharon Hodgson L

Question accordingly negatived.

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