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Photo by Michal Bar Haim on Unsplash
Photo by Michal Bar Haim on Unsplash
World News

MPs to vote to change abortion laws

by Lydia Davies

MPs are set to deliberate a proposal to decrease the abortion time limit in the UK.

Advocates are pressing for a reduction from 24 weeks to 22 weeks, citing enhanced survival rates for premature infants as grounds for the change.

The last time the abortion time limit was lowered was in 1990 when it was brought down from 28 weeks to 24 weeks.

Right to Life UK said that 24 weeks "is now beyond the point when many babies survive" and that making the change to 22 weeks would better align us with other European Union nations, which enforce a 12-week limit.

They also enforce that there is a "contradiction at the heart of our abortion law” which means that "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, while another baby at the same age could have their life deliberately ended by abortion in the same hospital at the same time".

The vote, which will take place next month, has support from a diverse array of MPs, including former health minister Maggie Throup, Labour figures Rachael Maskell and Marie Rimmer, former Cabinet Minister Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, and Miriam Cates MP.

Led by Caroline Ansell MP, the group asserts that aligning the law with medical progress is overdue.

"The increase in survival rates for babies born at 22 and 23 weeks gestation is one of medical science's great success stories in recent years," Ansell said,

"More and more babies born at these ages are able to survive thanks to the hard work of neonatal teams.

"As in 1990, when our laws were last changed to reflect similar increases in survival rates, it is time our abortion time limit was updated."


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