I was just talking to a British pro-life activist the other day about the impending possibility of abortion being legalized until birth in the United Kingdom–and it now turns out that this attempt has failed. This is a really, really big deal. From U.K. Right to Life’s report:
An attempt to hijack the UK Government’s flagship Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill with two extreme abortion proposals has failed, in a major pro-life victory.
Diana Johnson MP has decided not to take her amendment (NC 55), that would have introduced abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth, to a vote. Similarly, Rupa Huq MP has decided not to take her amendment (NC 42), that would have introduced a jail sentence of up to 2 years for offering support to women outside abortion clinics nationwide, to a vote.
If Diana Johnson MP and Rupa Huq MP had pushed their amendments to a vote and lost, this would have been the first time that a pro-abortion amendment or Bill had been defeated in a vote in UK history.
It appears that the abortion lobby realised that it was very likely that both amendments were going to be defeated and encouraged the MPs not to take these amendments to a vote.
A large number of MPs in the debate spoke out against these attempts to hijack the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill with extreme abortion amendments. This included stirring speeches from Fiona Bruce MP, Sally-Ann Hart MP, Danny Kruger MP, and Bob Blackman MP, along with a number of MPs who don’t usually agree with the pro-life positon on abortion but were shocked by thea proposal to introduce abortion up to birth.
Ahead of the debate today, over 800 medical professionals signed an open letter to Diana Johnson urging her to withdraw her amendment.
Diana Johnson’s amendment would have introduced abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth, to England and Wales. This would have been the most extensive change to abortion legislation since 1967 and would have left England and Wales with one of the most extreme abortion laws in the world.
Rupa Huq’s amendment would have introduced a jail term of up to 6 months and/or an unlimited fine, and, in further instances, up to 2 years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine, for anyone that speaks about abortion to a woman seeking an abortion within 150 metres of every abortion clinic in the country. This would have included protesting or demonstrating outside a clinic, as well as offering a woman practical, emotional, or financial support to be able to continue a pregnancy if she were unsure about her decision. The failed proposals were radically out of step with the opinions of the general public.
Polling from Savanta ComRes on whether time limits for abortion should be increased shows that only 1% of women want the time limit to be extended; in contrast, 70% of women favour a reduction in time limits. The polling also showed that 77% of women agree that doctors should be required to verify in person that a patient seeking an abortion is not under pressure from a third party to undergo the abortion, and 91% of women agree that gender-selective abortion should be explicitly banned by the law.
A poll from Savanta ComRes released last week showed that only 21% of the population support the introduction of nationwide ‘censorship zones’ around abortion clinics. It showed that support was lowest among 18 to 34-year-olds, with only 15% supporting the introduction of nationwide ‘censorship zones’ around abortion clinics.
This is fantastic. A reason to be thankful.