Abortion Rights Blog

The national pro-choice campaign

Dorries continues cruel Parliamentary campaign against women’s rights

29 January 2007

Notwithstanding her crushing parliamentary defeat in October 2006, Nadine Dorries MP has re-introduced an even more extreme version of her Bill to curtail women’s rights to make their own abortion decisions.

The Bill is due to be heard by the House on Friday 23rd March 2007.

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries first launched a parliamentary campaign last year to generate publicity around minority anti-choice calls for a reduction in the time limit for abortion. In a ‘Ten Minute Rule’ Bill read in October 2006, Dorries called for legislation to reduce the abortion time limit from 24 to 21 weeks and enforce mandatory delay in service provision force women who have already decided to end their unwanted pregnancy.

Dorries’ Bill was strongly defeated, 108 to 187 against, by MPs who understood that later abortion is rare but desperately needed and that, once a woman has made a decision to end a pregnancy, it is cruel and condescending to use delays and directive counselling in an attempt to change her mind.

Dorries’ new Bill ‘Termination of Pregnancy’ is almost identical but more extreme in its aims. It seeks to reduce the time limit to 20, rather than 21 weeks – well below the point of viability for a foetus. This is a waste of parliamentary time and backward looking assault on women’s crucial reproductive rights.

In the 40th anniversary year of the 1967 Abortion Act, Abortion Rights is instead calling for the government to take a lead in creating a modern law fit for the 21st Century, where women, not doctors, have the final say on the abortion decision, and where NHS delays and other unfair barriers are removed.