New Clause 1 — Amendment of the law relating to abortion

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 8:00 pm on 20th May 2008.

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Photo of Chris McCafferty Chris McCafferty Labour, Calder Valley 8:00 pm, 20th May 2008

No; I want to make some progress.

Illegal abortion is extremely risky. It is usually performed late and is frequently performed by an untrained person. Besides the medical risks, abortions performed under illegal conditions are socially unjust, because women with means can and will pay for safe abortions, leaving poor women at the mercy of illegal settings and the high risk that they bring.

Another fundamental misconception in the abortion debate is that society needs to intervene to ensure that pregnant women make the right decision. All restrictions in reproductive health imply that pregnant women must be protected from themselves, so that they do not make a hasty decision against having a child; we have heard about that this evening. Total strangers declare themselves advocates of a pregnant woman's foetus. Such a position not only violates the fundamental rights of women but is an incredible insult to women, being based on an arrogant and unthinking assumption that women in general are inferior to men.

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