Abortion Rights Blog

The national pro-choice campaign

Abortion Rights opposes anti-abortion parliamentary committee demand

‘Accept that parliament opposed restrictions in abortion law and stop attacking women’s rights – Abortion Right says to MPs’

Abortion Rights opposes the amendment tabled by Frank Field MP and Nadine Dorries MP to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, on 15 October, proposing to establish a joint committee of the Houses of Parliament to ‘review abortion law and practice’.

The amendment – New Clause 34 – is moved by MPs who have sought to use debates on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill to restrict women’s rights to choose on abortion. They have been unsuccessful – after a full day of debate in May, for example, MPs decisively rejected proposals to cut the abortion time limit or make other restrictions. Rather than accepting this, anti-abortion MPs seek to establish another framework to continue prosecuting their attacks on women’s rights. Abortion Rights believes that anti-abortion MPs should accept their views have been widely debated and that the view of parliament – and of the wider public – is clear and against a restriction of the law. We call on MPs to refrain from further attempts to attack women’s rights.

·    New Clause 34 proposes a committee of 17 members to review and report on the law within nine months, of the HFE Act coming into effect, and require the Secretary of State to give legislative effect to the report’s conclusions within two years.