New Clause 1 — Amendment of the law relating to abortion

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 7:30 pm on 20th May 2008.

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Photo of Claire Curtis-Thomas Claire Curtis-Thomas PPS (Rt Hon Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC, Attorney General), Law Officers' Department 7:30 pm, 20th May 2008

In the article referred to by the hon. Member for Gainsborough, the eminent doctor stated that no person seeking IVF treatment going for their first scan is told, "Oh, I can see your foetus." What is said is, "I can see your baby, and here is his feet, here is his head and here is his spine, and it is all looking fine." It is very convenient to hide behind the word "foetus" and other non-descriptors, because it makes it far easier to bear an abortion. It makes it far easier for all concerned to deal with the termination of a baby, which can go on to be a child—a very happy and loved child. Other studies suggest that those mothers who first elected to have an abortion and then changed their minds would have bitterly regretted such a decision a few years down the line, because the experience of the child is a different reality from the spectre sometimes painted by individuals in a hospital who think that they know what is best for a mother.

I want to bring my comments to an end. I understand that lots of Members want to contribute to the debate today. I do not think that it is wrong to argue for a woman to have more information and advice at the most critical time in her life. It is not wrong to argue for a few days of rest time to consider what will be a profound decision. I hope that the House will agree to support my new clause.

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