MPs speak out against push to make abortion a human right

Several MPs have spoken up in defence of the unborn amid a push to make abortion a human right in the UK.

The issue was debated in Westminster Hall in response to a petition calling for abortion to be included in the Government’s proposed Bill of Rights.

Stella Creasy, who recently proposed imposing ‘censorship zones’ around abortion clinics, backed the petition, but the majority of MPs who spoke raised concerns about any expansion of the law.

‘Cult of death’

Currently, abortion is permitted up to 24 weeks for most reasons but is available up to birth for children deemed to have a disability, including conditions such as cleft palate and club foot.

Jacob Rees-Mogg MP told MPs that the petition’s aim was about “destroying life” rather than protecting it.

“This is the cult of death. It is the great tragedy of abortion, and it is considered normal. The extraordinarily high number of babies that are destroyed is something that should sadden us all to the depths of our souls.

“The idea that we would protect something that is so wrong and ignores that second life, and that we should say that it is an absolute right on par with free elections, seems to me to be an absolute tragedy.”

Public opinion

Sir Edward Leigh, MP for Gainsborough, highlighted that despite abortion activists’ push to liberalise the law, the country was already responsible for “a record 200,000-plus abortions per year in this country—perhaps one in four pregnancies”.

He added: “There is no real appetite to make abortion a right, aside from a vocal minority and various lobby groups, including the abortion providers themselves.”

Jim Shannon said he had received “literally hundreds of emails” from constituents “of all ages, both genders, of all political opinions and of all religious persuasions on the importance of speaking up for life and, furthermore, the importance of speaking up for the lives of both the woman and the unborn child”.

In response, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice Edward Argar confirmed that “the Government do not intend to include a right to abortion in the Bill of Rights”. But he added that the Department of Health may be considering a sexual and reproductive health action plan which may cover abortion.

DIY abortions

Earlier this year, unsafe home abortions became available to women in England and Wales on a permanent basis after temporary rules introduced at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic became law.

From late March 2020, women who are less than ten weeks pregnant have been allowed to take the two pills required for a chemical abortion at home without medical supervision, after just a telephone or video consultation with a doctor.

The Scottish Government also confirmed that DIY abortions would become ongoing standard practice in Scotland.

Also see:

Baby hand

Heidi Crowter resolute in fight to end ‘downright discrimination in the womb’

Alarm in House of Lords at ‘censorship zone’ threat to religious freedom

Westminster blasted for ‘shameful’ move as it commissions abortion services across NI

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