With the key vote on the abortion time limit on Tuesday 20th May it is urgent that MPs hear from you.
Alternatively, please phone your MP at the House of Commons during the week. Phone the switchboard on 020 7219 3000 and ask for your MP by name. If you do not know their name then phone the House of Commons Information Office on 020 7219 4272. You can contact their constituency office on Friday.
If you have time you could visit your MP’s constituency surgery this weekend. Details will be available on MPs websites.
You may wish to direct your MP to the recent Science and Technology Committee report, or to contact Abortion Rights for further information.
If you know your MP’s views on the abortion time limit, please email us
Please send Abortion Rights copies of responses to help us build up a picture of parliamentary opinion. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post copies of replies to 18 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL.
House of Commons
Dear . . . . . . . . . . . .MP,
Please vote against any lowering of the abortion time limit on 20th May
I am concerned that anti-abortion MPs aim to use the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill to lower the 24-week abortion time limit in votes expected on 20th May 2008.
Less than 2% of abortions take place after 20 weeks. They are needed by women facing difficult, unforeseeable and always individual circumstances – most commonly women whose pregnancy was diagnosed late because they were using contraception or nearing the menopause; young women or women with mental health problems who cannot acknowledge their pregnancy until later; or women with a previously wanted pregnancy who face life crises such as domestic violence. No one involved takes the decision lightly.
Criminalisation of later abortion would be devastating for this small number of women and would embolden anti-abortionists to seek further restrictions. It would have no impact on reducing the number of unplanned pregnancies in Britain.
The authoritative nationwide EPICURE 2 survey shows that, contrary to anti-abortion claims, unfortunately premature babies’ survival has not significantly improved below 24 weeks gestation. Any lowering of the time limit is opposed by the British Medical Association, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, British Association of Peri-natal Medicine, Royal College of Nursing, Department of Health, the Commons Science and Technology Committee, MPs from all three main parities, trade unions, women’s and student organisations.
Women must be entitled to make the most fundamental decisions over their own bodies. Please vote against any attack on women’s crucial abortion rights. Please let me know your view.