New Clause 15 - Children as victims of domestic abuse

Part of Domestic Abuse Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:00 pm on 6th July 2020.

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Photo of Gavin Robinson Gavin Robinson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Defence) 6:00 pm, 6th July 2020

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that. I agree with him in part, but I will say this about Dame Diana Johnson: I have never found her contribution on issues such as this to be provocative, offensive or sensationalist in the way she presents them, although I do not agree with many of them. She presents them in a very cogent and sensitive way, albeit I doubt we will ever agree on the issue at hand.

I look forward to the contribution from Fiona Bruce. I have said before that she embarks on herculean efforts when it comes the defence of life and of the rights of the unborn child. The three amendments she proposes to new clause 28 highlight its frailties. In amendments (a), (b) and (c), she highlights that it makes no reference to the nine-week, six-day time limit associated with the coronavirus provision of telemedicine abortion and no reference to whether new clause 28 applies to medical terminations or surgical terminations. As with the contribution from the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North, the new clause also makes no reference to the impact on victims of domestic abuse at home and the benefit of leaving that home and entering a clinical setting or engaging with the clinician, to highlight not just the pregnancy that they are struggling with, but the issues of abuse that they are struggling with. No reference is made to the 7% of women within our country who procure abortions not because they want them, but as a result of coercive control; there is no reference to the 7% of women who are forced to proceed and procure an abortion because of domestic abuse. In fairness, the hon. Lady was not in a position to outline the frailties associated with her new clause 28. I am grateful that, given the contributions I have heard so far, I do not think the House will be minded to support it. I will be very clear in my position that I can see no circumstances in which I could support it at all.