MPs back devolution of abortion to Scotland

The control of abortion law is set to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament, after the House of Commons backed the move on Monday.

MPs voted 350 to 183 in favour of the clause in the Scotland Bill, which will now be examined in the House of Lords.

Currently in Great Britain, healthy babies can be aborted up to 24 weeks if certain conditions are met.

No plans

Abortion up to birth is lawful when the mother’s life is at risk, or where the unborn child is seriously disabled.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs in September that the Scottish Government has no plans to change abortion laws.

But she did say that the issue should be devolved to “bring it into line with almost all other health matters”.


The Smith Commission, which was set up following the referendum last year, supported the devolution of abortion to Scotland.

Last year 11,475 abortions took place in Scotland, while 190,092 were carried out in England and Wales.

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