The well-funded anti-abortion lobby is continuing its ideologically driven campaign against a women’s rights to choose. It has announced its intention to seek a repeat vote on the time limit after the next general election.
More immediately 13 restrictive amendments have already been tabled for the next stage of the HFE Bill — the Report stage. This was due to be debated and voted on 14 July but has been postponed until the autumn.
These amendments are deeply damaging and offensive. They include the proposed introduction of additional obstruction and delay for the tiny number of women who need abortion after 24 weeks — who are in most urgent need of abortion. Others would restrict the grounds for abortion and, others would impose a ‘cooling off period of informed consent’ for all women. These would make negotiating access to safe abortion more complicated and distressing and would cause most problems for women who are least well informed of their rights. The resulting delays would, in effect, shorten the available abortion time limit for women. All these amemndments need to be vigorously opposed.
The bill can be followed on the House of Commons website Human Fertilisation and Embryology page .Scroll down to find the ‘amendment papers and proceedings’ section.