Over 700 medics urge MPs to cut abortion limit to 22 weeks

More than 700 medics have called on MPs to reduce Britain’s abortion limit to better reflect the increasing number of surviving premature babies.

In a letter, a range of medics from senior consultants to GPs encouraged parliamentarians to vote for Conservative MP Caroline Ansell’s amendment to the Government’s Criminal Justice Bill to reduce the abortion limit from 24 weeks – set in 1990 – to 22 weeks.

The medics called such a change “long overdue” as survival rates for 23-week-old babies have doubled in the last decade, leading to revised guidance to save children born at 22 weeks.

‘Tiny humans’

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Ansell highlighted that currently “babies of the same gestational age may meet contrasting fates even in the same hospital: one team of medics working to save life and another to end life.

these tiny ones can live

“This is no theoretical occurrence: a study estimated that in 2020 and 2021, 261 babies born at 22 or 23 weeks gestation survived to be discharged from hospital. These babies are unquestionably human” and it is “time we changed the law to reflect that at 22 weeks, these tiny ones can live”.

In Britain, abortion is available for most reasons up to 24 weeks, the age at which babies are deemed to be ‘viable’ outside the womb.

DIY abortions

Last week, almost 500 medics urged MPs to reject a separate amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill seeking to decriminalise abortion for women in England and Wales.

In an open letter, the medics warned that Labour MP Dame Diana Johnson’s amendment to remove women from the criminal law on abortion would allow DIY abortion pills to be taken at any stage without sanctions.

The Bill is awaiting Report Stage, when MPs will be able to vote on Johnson’s and Ansell’s amendments unless they are withdrawn first.

Also see:


Abortion elevated to human right in French constitution

Manchester students told to ‘get raped’ for pro-life beliefs

Christian MPs decry ‘extreme’ attempt to liberalise abortion law

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