On 20 May 2008, MPs decisively defeated anti-abortion amendments to the government’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Bill to lower the abortion time limit from 24 weeks. MPs voted 304 to 233 against an amendment to lower the limit to 22 weeks. This was a huge victory for women, the pro-choice movement and Abortion Rights, which played a pivotal role. Thanks are due to the thousands who campaigned and lobbied.
A sensationalist and misleading campaign by the anti-abortion lobby failed in it’s attempt to silence women’s voices, the wealth of medical evidence and the views of the majority of the population. Very few women need later abortion. Those who do, face difficult, unforeseeable and always individual circumstances and must be allowed to make their own careful decision. Abortion Rights calls on MPs to keep supporting women in the final stages of the HFE Bill and in the future.