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UK News

Christian MP opposes bill to decriminalise abortion

The bill has been put forward by the Labour MP for Hull North, Diana Johnson.

It has the most significant implications for Northern Ireland, where terminations remain illegal in most circumstances.

Fiona Bruce MP tells Premier regarding Northern Ireland: "Abortion has been something which their local government has been allowed to decide since 1921. It would be quite wrong, it would be unconstitutional for us to make a decision for them."

According to Diana Johnson MP, the Bill would remove abortion from the criminal law, allowing abortion to be regulated in the same way as all other routine medical procedures. It seeks to bring the UK into line with some states in Australia, the USA, and much of Europe in not criminally punishing women for ending their pregnancies.

Fiona Bruce tells Premier she opposes the bill because of the consequences it would have for a vulnerable woman:

"If she is in an abusive relationship, and there is no need for her to see a doctor, and no need to give a reason for having an abortion, we believe it is far more likely that vulnerable women could be pressurised into having an abortion by abusive partners."

As a ten minute rule bill, the vote will not be binding, but if widely supported could be a first step towards changing the law.

Until now, the government in Westminster has rejected calls to legislate on Northern Ireland's near-total ban on abortion, arguing that abortion is a devolved issue that must be resolved at Stormont. There has been no sitting Northern Ireland Assembly in place since January 2017.

To listen to Fiona Bruce MP talking to Premier's Rosie Wright, click here:

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