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£300 million made available for families and children from conception to two years old

£300 million will be made available for a “start for life offer for families”, which begins from the child’s conception to around their second birthday.

Earlier this week, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, as part of the Autumn Budget, announced that this money will be made available for “high-quality parenting programmes” and “tailored services to help with perinatal mental health”. This is in response to evidence, according to Sunak, of the importance of the first 1,001 days of a child’s life, starting from conception.

Sunak said: “The evidence is compelling that the first 1,001 days of a child’s life are the most important. We are responding today with £300 million for a Start for Life offer for families – high-quality parenting programmes, tailored services to help with perinatal mental health”.

The Prime Minister commissioned the former Conservative cabinet minister, Andrea Leadsom, to write a review on this period – as the minister had long argued that the first two years of a child’s life is key. The £300 million will be provided alongside other funds intended to help families.

The Government has also announced that they will provide “£7 million by 2024-25 to improve access to services and support for adopted children and their families”.

Currently, under UK law, a death of a baby is only registered after 24 weeks gestation. At this stage, the baby’s death is registered as a stillbirth. If a child is born and dies before 24 weeks, the baby’s death is recorded as a miscarriage, and the child is not entitled to a death certificate.

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “We welcome this increased funding that will help babies, both unborn and born, along with their families”.

“Making this funding available from conception is significant because it implicitly recognises exactly what the pro-life movement and scientific investigation has always said: life begins at conception. This is well known and undeniable”.

“Of course the days before and after birth are important, and it is encouraging to see the Government recognise that fact, even if it is in this minimal manner. However, this support for children, from conception, exists in sharp contrast to the abortion laws in the UK”.

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.