Christian MPs Fiona Bruce and Carla Lockhart will propose changes to the UK’s abortion laws.
They have come together to propose two amendments to the Government’s Health and Care Bill which will be debated in Parliament on 22nd and 23rd November.
The Bill is currently at the report stage, meaning any MP can propose deleting, amending or adding new clauses to the legislation. A debate will then decide which amendments are considered, after which the Speaker determines which amendments are to be actually voted on.
Fiona Bruce, the MP for Congleton, is proposing banning most abortions after 22 weeks, rather than the current 24-week limit.
According to Right to Life UK, the latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine establishes 22 weeks’ gestation to be the point of viability and enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from this point onwards.
The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.
In other European countries, the median time limit is 12 weeks’ gestation.
Banning abortion based upon the predicted sex of the unborn child is the amendment proposed by DUP MP Carla Lockhart.
She argues that allowing sex-selective abortion is illegal as there is nothing in section 1 of the Abortion Act 1967 “to be interpreted as allowing a pregnancy to be terminated on the grounds of the sex of the foetus.”
Another amendment has also been tabled to introduce an upper gestational limit on abortion on the grounds of disability.
Currently, abortion for disabilities including Down’s Syndrome, cleft lip and club foot is available right up to birth.
Lockhart said: “Current abortion legislation is out of line with the latest science on fetal viability, gender equality, and positive changes in attitudes towards people with disabilities. These three amendments would make changes to our abortion legislation in areas that polling shows have broad support from the public.”
MPs Maria Miller and Diana Johnson have also tabled an amendment that proposes to not hold a woman criminally liable for having an abortion.