24 week abortion limit ‘out of date’ – Fiona Bruce MP

The 24 week abortion limit is “out of date” and the “viability” of a child is not a real measure of its value, a Conservative MP has said.

Fiona Bruce made the comments in an article for Breitbart News last week.

She joins a growing number of pro-life groups and doctors who have raised concerns about the current law on abortion in Britain.


Bruce referred to a recent freedom of information request which showed that the survival rates for extremely premature babies have risen significantly.

She said that those who suggest otherwise fail to take into account the “successes and breakthroughs being achieved at the biggest centres with the most expertise”.

The politician highlighted that between 2010 and 2013, University College London Hospitals saved 20 out of 26 babies born at 23 weeks.


Bruce argued that: “Viability is not really a measure of the value of an unborn child, but a measure of the current state of medical knowledge, skill and technology.”

She said: “The idea that the right to life is dependent on an unborn child’s ‘viability’ runs into all sorts of problems when subjected to a little critical thought.”

The politician criticised the pro-abortion lobby’s defence of abortion up to birth for disabled children saying it suggests that “all the talk about viability is a mere smokescreen”.


“There is a great danger in giving false prominence to the idea that people who are dependent on others are in some way deficient or less valuable”, Bruce added.

The Conservative MP went on to say that abortion has been normalised over the last fifty years.

She argued that “muted” opposition to late abortions is “partly due to ignorance about how unusual the UK is allowing de facto abortion on demand so late in pregnancy”.


Referring to the pro-abortion lobby, she warned: “Once you have enthroned choice, it becomes very difficult to criticise any particular exercise of that choice, even when the life that is being ended is unmistakeably one of us.”

Bruce highlighted that: “Many pro-choicers actually defended the right to abort on grounds of the child’s sex, despite the overwhelming evidence that it is usually female unborn children who are targeted in this way.”

Writing for the Guardian last month, columnist Polly Toynbee argued that babies born at 23 weeks who go on to develop disabilities are “crippling” budgets for children’s services.

However figures show that at least 120 babies born at 23 weeks, up to one week before the legal abortion limit, have survived in the last four years.

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