Where do the Liberal Democrat leadership candidates stand on abortion?

With the date for Vince Cable’s departure as leader of the Liberal Democrats now set on the 23rd July, the Party is now looking for his successor. So far, only two candidates have put their names forward in the leadership contest which will close on the 7th June.

Deputy leader of the party, Jo Swinson MP, will face competition from former Energy Secretary, Sir Ed Davey MP.

We have put together the following voting record outline which details the voting records on abortion for each of the current leadership candidates. These records come from the Where Do They Stand database, you can view voting records for other MPs on the website here. We will be updating this outline as more candidates but their name forward.

This voting record outline will be useful for all members of the Liberal Democrats party, as party members have the final say in who becomes the next leader.

We are about to enter a very important period in UK for the abortion issue. Polling shows that there is very strong demand from the public for a range of changes to our abortion laws that would introduce new safeguards and restrictions to increase protections for the unborn child and support for women in crisis pregnancies. There is also currently a strong push from the abortion lobby to introduce abortion on demand to Northern Ireland and make extreme changes to abortion legislation in England and Wales.

It is important therefore that the next leader of the Liberal Democrats (or or any party) is open to supporting positive changes that would improve our abortion laws and that they will also reject pressure from the abortion lobby to make them worse.

We have produced an outline of the voting record of each candidate and included links to their full voting record the Where Do They Stand website. We have included this as it may be difficult to read the details of each of the votes on the voting record outline as we have had to fit in a lot of content into a very small space. A description of each of these votes can be clearly read over on the Where Do They Stand website.

Green squares represent the MP casting a pro-life vote, red represents a pro-abortion vote, yellow is an abstention and grey indicates that the MP was not in office at the time of the vote.

  1. Amendment to put pressure on the Government to change abortion legislation in Northern Ireland – 24/10/2018.
  2. Introduce abortion on demand, for any reason, up-to 24-weeks in Northern Ireland. Remove many of the current legal safeguards around abortion provision in England and Wales – 23/10/2018.
  3. Introduce abortion on demand, for any reason, up-to-birth (‘Decriminalisation’) – 13/03/2017.
  4. Explicit ban on sex-selective abortion – 23/02/2015.
  5. Independent abortion counselling – 07/09/2011.
  6. Better information and counselling for parents facing a disability diagnosis in pregnancy – 20/05/2008.
  7. Reduce abortion limit to 12 weeks – 20/05/2008.
  8. Reduce abortion limit to 16 weeks – 20/05/2008.
  9. Reduce abortion limit to 20 weeks – 20/05/2008.
  10. Reduce abortion limit to 22 weeks – 20/05/2008.
  11. Counselling and 7-day cooling off period – 05/06/2007.
  12. Parental notification for girls 15 and under seeking an abortion – 14/03/2007.

Sir Ed Davey

Jo Swinson

Netflix boycott Georgia for pro-life laws. Pro-lifers respond by boycotting Netflix

The media giant, Netflix, is actively attempting to undermine new pro-life legislation in Georgia set to come into law early in 2020. The company is joining forces with the pro-abortion lobby group, the ACLU, in its commitment to funding the legal challenge to this law which protects unborn lives.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, stated they will be “work[ing] with the ACLU and others to fight it in court.”

However, Netflix has come under fire for its apparent hypocrisy because, while the company is actively seeking to prevent laws coming into effect which protect the life of the unborn child and threatening to leave the state of Georgia if this does happen, it is stepping up production in Egypt and Jordan where abortion is completely illegal.

Not wanting to fund a pro-abortion effort to prevent a law that protects unborn from coming into effect indirectly,  pro-life groups have responded by unsubscribing from Netflix and organising a boycott of their services.

Why Georgia? Why now?

On the 7th May, Georgia’s Governor, Brian Kemp, signed a law that grants near total legal protection to unborn children. House Bill 481 restricts abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected except in cases of rape, incest, physical medical emergencies, and pregnancies deemed “medically futile.”

It is understood that media companies have been operating in Georgia due to the tax incentives offered by the state. Disney has also threatened to boycott Georgia should its pro-life laws come into effect.

Right To Life UK is also encouraging pro-lifers to boycott Netflix by cancelling their subscription and signing a petition. Those who do not have a subscription to Netflix are encouraged to sign the petition too signalling their intent not to start using Netflix and their intent to encourage family and friends to boycott Netflix as well.

Clare McCarthy from Right To Life UK said: “I cancelled my subscription today. I cannot support a company that I know is actively trying to promote abortion by doing everything it can to ensure the rights of unborn children are not recognised in law. If that means not being able to watch a couple of my favourite shows, it’s a small sacrifice I’m happy to make.”

“Tiny but Mighty”: World’s smallest baby survives against all odds

Saybie with a tiny graduation cap on leaving the hospital (Credit: Sharp HealthCare)

Saybie with a tiny graduation cap on leaving the hospital (Credit: Sharp HealthCare)

A baby girl, nicknamed “Saybie” by her nurses, has just been released from hospital having been born weighing just 8.6 ounces (245 grams) – about the same as an apple. Five months later and more than eight times her birth weight, she has been sent home as a healthy child. She is thought to be the smallest surviving premature baby.

Born at 23 weeks and three days, classified as a micro premmie, doctors initially told her parents that the child would likely die within an hour.

“But that hour turned into two hours, which turned into a day, which turned into a week,” her  mother said in a video released by Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns.

The Tiniest Baby Registry maintained by the University of Iowa ranks her as the world’s smallest baby ever to survive.

The hospital said Saybie officially weighed 7 grams less than the previous tiniest baby, who was born in Germany in 2015.

A sign by her crib read “Tiny but Mighty(Credit: Sharp Healthcare)

In the video produced by the hospital, Saybie’s mother described the birth as the scariest day of her life.

She was suffering from preeclampsia – a serious condition which requires the baby to be delivered quickly to avoid the possibility of the mother’s death.

“I kept telling them she’s not going to survive, she’s only 23 weeks,” she said.

But against all odds, the tiny girl did survive and slowly gained weight in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Nurses put a tiny graduation cap on her when she left the unit.

Children, like Saybie, born extremely prematurely can experience vision and hearing problems, developmental issues and a host of other complications, and sadly, many die within the first year. So far though, Saybie is doing extremely well.

It is lawful in Britain to obtain an abortion up to 24 weeks, but as can be seen in this case many babies are born before this point and survive. In fact, if a child has a disability, it is lawful to have an abortion all the way up to birth.

Recent polling has found strong opposition to the extreme abortion legislation we have in the UK with 70% of women in the UK believe that the current 24-week gestational limit for abortion should be reduced.

Big summer festivals used as pro-abortion funding vehicle

Those wishing to buy alcoholic beverages at this summer’s music festivals in Ireland, will have to do so from a company using these events to fund pro-abortion campaign groups.

The Workers’ Beer Co is the only supplier of alcohol to eight large music events in June and July, and its bars will be staffed by activists from Alliance for Choice and the Abortion Rights Campaign.

The events will host: Snow Patrol (June 7, Malahide), Metallica (June 8, Slane), Mumford and Sons (June 14 and 15, Malahide), Noel Gallagher (June 16, Malahide), George Ezra (June 21, Malahide), Lana Del Rey (June 22, Malahide), and the Longitude festival (Marlay Park, July 5-7).

These are expected to draw in upwards of 100,000 people and it is unclear whether concert attendees are aware the gigs are being used as a means to finance these campaign groups.

Workers’ Beer Company runs bars at music events across the British Isles, which are staffed by volunteers from activist groups, like Abortion Rights.

Alliance for Choice is a Belfast-based counterpart to the Abortion Rights campaign in the Republic.

Denise Walker, who is on the Irish committee of the Workers Beer Co, told the News Letter Alliance for Choice will not be at every gig, but Abortion Rights Campaign will.

The pro-life group, Both Lives Matter, have highlight that this puts pro-life attendees in a difficult position because their can be no meaningful boycott of this practice. First, because there are no other alcohol vendors and second, because the activists groups are funded based on the number of activists provided, not on the volume of alcohol sold.

As Dawn McAvoy, from Both Lives Matter has said: “This year if you want a drink, there is no choice other than to be ‘pro-choice’.”

“We all like to choose which charity or campaign our money goes to, as not every cause is equal. Perhaps it’s time for a bit more choice.”

The Abortion Rights lobby group has been involved with Workers Beer Co for a number of years, but it seems that many festival goers probably have no idea what they are inadvertently funding.