Protesting against abortion should not be a crime

The British establishment is deeply uncomfortable with speech it cannot control. In theory, we have a right to free speech under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, but even this is highly circumscribed and is full of exemptions. This aversion to free speech was recently confirmed by the Law Commission’s proposals to expand Britain’s hate-speech laws, restricting what we are allowed to say to and about each other.

Nevertheless, in the past couple of weeks, there has been some seemingly good news. First was the defeat of the Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) Bill. This was a distinctly worrying 10 Minute Rule Bill spawned by Labour MP Rupa Huq in collaboration with Tory grandees Bernard Jenkin and Andrew Mitchell. The bill would have created ‘buffer zones’ around abortion clinics, banning any kind of demonstration or communication within 150 metres of a clinic or entrance to a building containing a clinic. It would also threaten infringers with six months inside (two years on a second offence). Whatever your view on abortion, a bill that threatens with imprisonment a person who, in a given area, merely ‘expresses opinion’ (these are the exact words of Clause 2(2)(e)) has no place in any liberal democracy.

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Child euthanasia comes to the Netherlands

The Dutch government is preparing to legalize euthanasia for children between the ages of one and twelve.

Last year, the Dutch Ministry of Health commissioned a report from the NVK (Dutch Society of Pediatrics), which recommended the government permit euthanasia for terminally ill children of one to twelve years of age. The report included a survey of 72 doctors employed at prominent hospitals specializing in medical training. The majority stated that it is morally acceptable to euthanize preteen children who are suffering without prospect of improvement if their parents request it. Many surveyed parents also supported the proposal. This week, Hugo de Jonge, Dutch health minister and deputy prime minister, informed the Dutch Parliament that the government will be moving forward to draft and implement legislation for the new regulations proposed in the report.

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How to lose the abortion debate

The abortion movement is facing a long overdue reckoning — and it’s not the right’s fault. Trump’s anti-abortion assault may be powerful, but it’s not why many pro-choice advocates are now questioning their morality.

Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett is the culmination of his administration’s four-year attack on the pro-choice camp. Trump is the first sitting president to attend the annual March For Life, sign the Born Alive Executive Order and block Planned Parenthood funds. His bold stand should ignite pro-choice defiance and bolster the pro-choice camp. So why are so many in it doubting their view of abortion?

The problem comes from within the movement itself: the abortion lobby let radical, extreme voices take center-stage. By embracing the ‘celebrate abortion’ and ‘ShoutYourAbortion’ culture, they alienated middle-ground supporters and tipped many over the ideological edge.

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Jasvinder Sanghera: The new Northern Ireland rules that set a dangerous precedent on sex-selective abortion for the whole UK

Jasvinder Sanghera CBE is the founder of Karma Nirvana, a charity that supports both men and women affected by honour based abuse and forced marriages.

I am extremely concerned that the Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No 2) Regulations open the door wide to sex selective abortions in Northern Ireland. They permit abortion to 12 weeks gestation for any reason without a qualification on the basis of sex.

I gave evidence to the Isle of Man as it sought to modernised their abortion law in 2018, proposing abortion on request to 14 weeks. It inserted a section into its own legislation which makes clear that abortion on the basis of sex (unless linked to a sex related genetic disorder) is not legal. I highlighted how this was a serious human rights issue, having had the experience of supporting hundreds of affected women in the UK.

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