After a similar amendment that she tabled at an earlier stage of the Bill was withdrawn, Ms Johnson has re-introduced her amendment and there is a significant danger it will be debated and voted on in the House of Commons in the next few weeks.
The amendment proposes removing offences that make it illegal for women to perform their own abortions at any point right through to birth.
The amendment does not outline any circumstances in which it would continue to be an offence for a woman to perform her own abortion – the changes to the law would apply throughout nine months of pregnancy and would not exclude sex-selective abortions.
This extreme change to the law would likely lead to a tragic increase in the number of babies’ lives being ended through late-term abortions performed at home, as well as the lives of many more women being endangered.
As has been covered in the media extensively, there was a tragic case of a woman being sent abortion pills by the abortion provider, BPAS, who had not accurately established the gestation of her baby, Lily, who was then aborted at between 32 and 34 weeks, which is around 8 months gestation.
The case would not have happened had the gestation of baby Lily been accurately identified by ultrasound or a physical examination during an in-person appointment. If this appointment had taken place, the gestation of the baby would have been accurately identified and the abortion could not have taken place.
Rather than supporting the reinstatement of in-person appointments that would prevent women’s lives from being put at risk, abortion campaigners earlier tabled two extreme amendments to the Criminal Justice Bill that would remove offences that make it illegal for women to perform their own abortions right through to birth. Neither amendment was successful at Committee Stage of the Bill. But, Diana Johnson has re-introduced her amendment at Report Stage.
If passed, this amendment would likely lead to a sharp increase in the number of babies that have their lives ended in late-term abortions at home and the lives of many more women being endangered.
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