New Clause 1 — Amendment of the law relating to abortion

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 8:15 pm on 20th May 2008.

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Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning Shadow Minister (Health) 8:15 pm, 20th May 2008

I should like to make a little progress.

I want to move on to the sheer quantity of abortions taking place in this country today, and to the fact that 32 per cent. of women who have an abortion have had an abortion before. I find that enormously disturbing, both as a father and as a husband. Earlier today, I was having a conversation with an old friend who has daughters of a similar age to my own daughters. My daughters are 17 and 19 years old. This gentleman is not a politician, and he asked me how I was going to vote this evening. He told me that, the other evening, he had had a disturbing conversation with his 19-year-old daughter, who had been on Facebook, having a conversation with one of her friends from college. Her friend is already a single mother, and she told my friend's daughter that she was now pregnant again. My friend's daughter said to her, "This is really serious. What are you going to do?" Her friend replied that she was going to have an abortion. When my friend's daughter observed that this was a very serious matter, her friend replied that she had had two abortions already. I accept that that is not the norm, but it illustrates the failure of this country to address that problem.

I am not in any way taking a view on that person's individual circumstances. I am not there; I am not her father—I do not know whether she has a father. We do know, however, that it is not good for her to be in that position, and we must do everything that we possibly can—

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