Cross-bench amendments to reduce the time limit to 12 weeks, 14 weeks, 16 weeks, 18 weeks and 20 weeks have been tabled. At 12 weeks - 14 weeks, many women do not even realise they are pregnant and recent evidence has shown that foetuses have not significantly increased in viability at 18 or 20 weeks gestation then when the Abortion Act came into force.
An amendment has been tabled to delete the existing provision of terminations on the grounds that there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped. Abortion Rights has a statement on abortion and disability and their campaign is one of choice not about aborting a foetus because it may develop into a disabled child. An amendment has been submitted that no termination of pregnancy should be carried out on the grounds of race, gender (or should it become identifiable before birth) sexual orientation! This is a real dirty tactic at trying to get support for the anti-abortion vote by scaremongering about potential eugenics. Linking this to the clause on abortion on the grounds of 'physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped' is manipulation and the Labour MP Claire Curtis-Thomas who is party to this amendment ought to be ashamed of herself.
As expected an amendment that a woman should be offered counselling, be provided with foetal and embryonic development information, the physical, psycholical and psyciatric risks associated with termination of pregnancy including a description of the different types of termination and the risks involved and the contact details of adoption services and other advice services (including details of any disability or abnormality that the pregnant woman’s embryo or foetus is at risk of suffering from if born). This amendment is so weighted to anti-choice.
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