In a nutshell
A vote on whether to amend the abortion law.
On 5 June 2007 Conservative MP Ann Winterton introduced a Ten Minute Rule Bill to amend several aspects of the abortion law with the following proposals:
- To require women to receive counselling which would ensure they are properly informed about the possible effects of abortion on their physical and mental health;
- To give women at least one week after counselling before having the abortion, so they have the opportunity to change their minds;
- To ensure proper records are kept of the grounds for abortion – the notification form should state specifically whether the abortion was carried out on physical or on mental health grounds. The two would no longer be combined, making the figures clearer; and
- To inform women of means of support available if they decide to continue with the pregnancy.1
Lady Winterton moved a motion in the following terms:
“That leave be given to bring in a Bill to require counselling of a pregnant woman as a condition of her consent to termination of her pregnancy; to require the pregnant woman to see a registered medical practitioner prior to receiving counselling; to introduce a minimum period of 7 days following counselling before registered medical practitioners may certify an opinion referred to in section 1(1) of the Abortion Act 1967; to require the forms used for certifying and giving notice of the reason for termination of a pregnancy to state risk to the physical and mental health of the pregnant woman as separate grounds for abortion; and for connected purposes.”2
She ended her speech by appealing to the House to:
“…support the measure to ensure that women who present for abortion consider carefully what they are choosing, that they are fully informed of the health risks and the available alternatives—”3
The Bill was rejected by 182 votes to 107. Being a backbencher’s Bill it was unlikely to become law because the Government would not have allocated it sufficient Parliamentary time.
How we recorded the vote
- Voted for the Termination of Pregnancy (Counselling and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2007
- Voted against the Termination of Pregnancy (Counselling and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2007
- Abstained or was absent on the vote for the Termination of Pregnancy (Counselling and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2007