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UK News

Christian campaigners protest proposed change in law that would legalise abortion up to birth

by Premier Journalist

Members of Parliament are debating major new amendments to UK abortion laws which would effectively decriminalise terminations up to birth.

If passed into law it would mark the biggest change in abortion legislation since the Abortion Act in 1967.

MPs are expected to get a free vote on the amendments to the Criminal Justice Bill next week.

On Wednesday pro-life protesters including from prominent Christian groups like Christian Concern, Rachel's Vineyard and ADF UK voiced their objections outside parliament.

The first amendment proposed by Conservative MP Caroline Ansell seeks to reduce the cap on abortions from 24 weeks to 22.

This would bring the UK’s law closer in line with the rest of Europe including with countries like France where abortion is capped at 14 weeks.

It also reflects medical advancements in the last 50 years which allow babies to survive with support if born alive at 22 weeks.  

A second amendment, proposed by Conservative MP Sir Liam Fox, would protect children with Down Syndrome from being legally aborted up to birth. The former NHS Doctor and GP argues it is discriminatory and has said there is "considerable cross-party support to remove an anomaly in UK law". 

A third amendment by Labour MP Diana Johnson would in-effect decriminalise abortions up to birth by removing laws preventing home abortions after 24 weeks gestations. 

Early at home termination (under ten weeks) were made legal in 2022 in England.

If the changes take place women would be able to take abortion pills at home at any stage of their pregnancy without committing an offence. 

Christian Concern, a Christian legal advocacy group, said both amendments would legalise sex-selective abortions and leave women and unborn babies vulnerable to dangerous procedures or medicines.

Alicia Edmund, head of public policy at the Evangelical Alliance in the UK said:

“For parliament to vote in favour of decriminalising late-term abortion recklessly ignores both the current failings of UK maternity care, and the needs of both lives involved in any pregnancy.”

Lois McLatchie Miller from Christian legal advocacy group ADF was part of Wednesday’s protests and told Premier Christian News:

"I think what we can say, from having 50 years of abortion legislation in our country, is that it has not served the women of our country very well."

"Many people would be familiar with the slogan, my body my choice. Unfortunately, in reality, men have been able to say your body, your choice, your issue, I'm out of here and left women with a responsibility that was always meant to be shared."

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