Abortion Rights Blog

The national pro-choice campaign

Ask your MP to vote against cynical anti-choice Bill

Tuesday 31st October, from 2.30pm

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has launched a parliamentary campaign to drive back women’s abortion rights. Dorries has tabled a Ten Minute Rule Bill calling both for a reduction in the time limit for abortion and the introduction of a mandatory delay in service provision. This is in the context of a concerted campaign by the anti-choice lobby to confuse opinion over a woman’s right to make her own abortion decisions and to build support for successive restrictions in abortion rights.

Please email or phone your MPs office and ask them to be in the Chamber on Tuesday 31st October, from 2.30, to vote against this attack on women’s crucial reproductive rights. Image
MP’s email addresses follow the following pattern: surnameinitial@parliament.uk
Their office can also be contacted via the House of Commons switchboard on 020 7219 3000.

Please let us know what responses you get.

Ten Minute Rule Bill: TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY, Mrs Nadine Dorries
That leave be given to bring in a Bill to reduce the time limit for legal termination of pregnancy from 24 to 21 weeks; to introduce a cooling off period after the first point of contact with a medical practitioner about a termination; to enable the time period from the end of the cooling off period and the date of termination to be reduced; and for connected purposes.

Later abortion – rare but desperately needed
Only a tiny proportion, less than 1 per cent, of abortions take place between 21 and 24 weeks. They are needed by women facing exceptional and very difficult circumstances, most commonly because of late diagnosis of pregnancy or problems, women in denial because of trauma, NHS delays or catastrophic changes in the woman’s life circumstances. Neither the women nor the doctors involved take the decision lightly.

Enforced delay – unnecessary and distressing
Enforcing a ‘cooling off’ period after a woman has made her decision is a key part of the anti-choice lobby’s agenda. Such delays have been imposed in several US states and in Australia and are frequently accompanied by a legal requirement for the woman to read misleading anti-choice literature. The agenda is part of a condescending and baseless narrative that women are not capable of, and frequently don’t, take such profound decisions about their life with seriousness, thought or discussion.
In reality women already frequently face unacceptable delays in a ‘postcode lottery’ of service provision. Women can wait up to eight weeks, forcing many to turn to the independent sector and hundreds of pounds in fees. Any mandatory delay in the process would cause significant further distress and delay to women.

No law needed to reduce waiting times
NHS delays in abortion service provision are a product of the decisions taken by individual Primary Care Trusts not by law. This Bill is unnecessary to improve women’s access to services.

MPs must not play politics with women’s lives
In a meeting last week with Abortion Rights, Nadine Dorries MP showed a staggering disregard for the difficulty of women’s circumstances. She admitted that she had not collated any scientific evidence that supports her campaign but that she saw her project as popular. She also told us that she had employed a PR firm to promote her activities.

It is anti-choice lobbying, not science or regard for women’s interests, that is dominating the debate. It is important that this Bill, based on the project of the anti-choice lobby, is strongly defeated in the Commons and that women’s crucial reproductive rights are defended.

Many thanks in anticipation of any support you can give to ensure a strong defeat for Nadine Dorries MP in the Chamber on Tuesday 31st October.