PM petitioned by over 100,000 to cut abortion limit

Over 100,000 people have signed a petition urging the Prime Minister to do everything in his power to reduce Britain’s abortion time limit.

Supported by a group of MPs, the petition was delivered to Number 10 by parents of children who were born at 22 and 23 weeks’ gestation.

Right to Life UK, which organised the petition, is calling on parliamentarians to vote for MP Caroline Ansell’s amendment to the Government’s Criminal Justice Bill which would reduce the abortion limit in England and Wales from 24 weeks – set in 1990 – to 22 weeks.

‘Tiny humans’

Backing the call, mother to twin boys Jade Crane said: “Babies in the womb at 22 weeks, which is as young as Harry and Harley were when they were born, deserve to be given a chance at life. They’re tiny humans, but humans nonetheless”.

Hanaa and Tayub, parents to Maleeha, reflected: “Every day was a challenge as she was just so tiny and there seemed to be so many unknowns, but that didn’t make her any less human and we wouldn’t change it for the world”.

“At 22 weeks, she was a baby – there is no denying that. We need to urgently update our laws to lower the abortion time limit to 22 weeks.”

And Mischa, whose daughter Amaya was born at 23 weeks and 5 days, commented: “The UK abortion law is out of date with medical science – my daughter is living proof of that.”

Public support

Right to Life UK spokeswoman Catherine Robinson said the petition “demonstrates the overwhelming support from the general public for Caroline Ansell’s amendment”.

Robinson said: “At the moment, a baby at 22 or 23 weeks gestation could be born prematurely and have a dedicated medical team provide expert care to try to save his or her life”.

Yet, she observed, “another baby at the same age could have his or her life deliberately ended by abortion in the same hospital at the same time. This is a contradiction in UK law”.

Earlier this month, more than 700 medics also called on MPs to reduce Britain’s abortion limit to better reflect the increasing number of surviving premature babies.

DIY abortions

In a separate amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill, Labour MP Dame Diana Johnson is attempting to decriminalise abortion for women in England and Wales.

If successful, a woman would be able to have an abortion up to birth, for any reason, with complete impunity.

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

Also see:

Hand of baby and adult

More 22-week-old babies surviving after receiving neonatal care

One of nation’s tiniest ever preemies growing into ‘cheerful little girl’

‘Palm-sized’ preemie now home and full of smiles

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