New Clause 1 — Amendment of the law relating to abortion

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 9:00 pm on 20th May 2008.

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Photo of Judy Mallaber Judy Mallaber PPS (Rt Hon Baroness Ashton of Upholland, President of the Council (Leader of the House of Lords)), Privy Council Office 9:00 pm, 20th May 2008

I do not know the exact figures, but I have no problems with that argument. Of course, many of us—not everybody, as some of those who oppose abortion on religious grounds also oppose the use of contraception—would seek to improve sex education, relationships education and contraception. There is no debate about that. If that led to a fall in backstreet abortions, it would be a good thing. That is the path that we all want to go down. We do not want women to feel that they need to have abortions. It is impossible for those people who are proposing the 16-week, 12-week and 20-week limits to deny that that would lead women who are feeling desperate to seek an abortion that would inevitably damage their health and lead to some of the misery that we have seen in the past.

I am also concerned by the attempts to reduce the time limit as part of a demonstration of how to deal with the mythical broken society. I believe that putting women through the misery of having to look for backstreet abortions, having to seek illegal abortions or being forced to carry on through pregnancy and birth would increase the broken society, if that is really what we are talking about.

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