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New poll indicates very little support for MP’s radical abortion up to birth proposal

A new poll has revealed that only 16% of the general population disagree that it should remain the case that a woman is breaking the law if she has an abortion of a healthy baby after the current 24-week legal time limit up until birth.

The results of this polling, conducted by Whitestone Insight of 2,011 people from across Britain, indicate that there is very little public support for proposals from MPs that would remove offences that make it illegal for a woman to perform a self-abortion at any point right through to birth.

Extreme abortion amendment retabled

Two Labour MPs, Diana Johnson and Stella Creasy, had each tabled amendments to the Government’s flagship Criminal Justice Bill, which were withdrawn last week at Committee stage. Johnson, however, has since retabled her amendment, which will be considered at Report stage.

Johnson’s amendment would create a situation whereby women can perform self-abortions with no deterrent regardless of any regulations that may be introduced for abortion providers. Her amendment would therefore mean abortion is de facto deregulated for women who acquire abortion pills either by misleading abortion providers or through other means, since they would be free to take the pills at any gestation, rendering regulations worthless.

Why was the abortion time limit reduced from 28 weeks to 24 weeks in 1990?

The introduction of a 24-week gestational limit in 1990 was significantly motivated by the results of a Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) working party report on neonatal survival rates before 28 weeks of gestation.

During the debates ahead of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 becoming law, a number of MPs specifically tied the abortion limit to the point at which a child is “capable of being born alive” and noted that this was the rationale for setting the 28-week limit in the Infant Life (Preservation) Act 1929.

Similarly, when the question of abortion time limits was revisited in 2008, the lowering of the abortion time limit in 1990 was again linked to the increased survival rates for babies born before 28 weeks gestation.

The current gestational limit for abortion of 24 weeks is already very late compared with other countries, and is at a point when the baby has already been fully formed for 12 weeks.

At 12 weeks gestation (the most common abortion time limit among countries in the EU), the NHS outlines that the unborn baby is fully formed. All the organs, muscles, limbs and bones are in place, and the sex organs are well developed. From then on, the baby just has to grow and mature.

At around 15 weeks gestation, the unborn baby will start to hear – they may hear muted sounds from the outside world, as well as the sound of their mother’s voice and heart. At 16 weeks gestation, the muscles of the unborn baby’s face can now move and the beginnings of facial expressions appear. At 18 weeks gestation, the unborn baby may respond to loud noises from the outside world, such as music. At 22 weeks gestation, the unborn baby is beginning to get into a pattern of sleeping and waking. At 23 weeks gestation, the unborn baby’s lungs are practising breathing movements to prepare for life outside the womb.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said “This recent polling indicates that the MPs behind these extreme abortion amendments are radically out of touch with public opinion on this matter”.

“Our abortion laws are already extremely permissive and even allow abortion up to the point of birth if the child is thought to have a disability. Stronger protections for unborn babies and their mothers need to be introduced, rather than the few remaining protections removed”.

Dear reader,

Thanks to your support, earlier this year the abortion lobby failed to pass two extreme abortion up to birth amendments tabled by Labour MPs Stella Creasy and Diana Johnson.

Unfortunately, this is not the end for our opposition. 

In the new Parliament, we will be facing major threats on not just one but three fronts: assisted suicide; experimentation on human embryos; and abortion up to birth:

  1. The first threat is from the assisted suicide lobby. The new Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer, has not only voted in favour of making assisted suicide legal in the past but also pledged ahead of the election that he would make time for MPs to vote on the introduction of assisted suicide. Now that he has been elected, we will be facing a big battle to stop assisted suicide from being legalised. To attempt to secure this law change, the assisted suicide lobby, led by the multi-million-pound outfit, Dignity in Dying, is expected to significantly ramp up their campaigning to put pressure on MPs to vote in support of introducing assisted suicide.
  2. The second threat is from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and their allies in biotech firms that undertake experimentation on the most vulnerable, precious and unique tiny babies - human embryos. These groups are running a major campaign to remove the 14-day limit from current legislation, so that scientists will be able to experiment on human embryos / unborn babies up to when they are 28 days or four weeks gestation. At around 22 days, the central nervous system begins to form and by 28 days, the heart has begun to beat, the brain has begun to develop and a baby’s eyes, ears and nose have started to emerge.
  3. The third threat is from the abortion lobby. Earlier this year the abortion lobby failed to pass two extreme abortion up to birth amendments that Labour MPs Stella Creasy and Diana Johnson tabled. The abortion lobby, led by BPAS and MSI Reproductive Choices (formerly Marie Stopes International), has made it clear that they will be working with pro-abortion MPs to try and force through major changes to our abortion laws that would allow abortion up to birth. A law change that allows abortion up to birth was passed in New Zealand in 2020 by the then Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern’s Government, and that country saw a 43% increase in late-term abortions in the same year. 

If these three major threats from our opposition are successful, thousands of lives will be lost.

This year we successfully ran our biggest campaign in 26 years to fight the abortion lobby’s abortion up to birth amendments. This has used a considerable amount of Right To Life UK's limited resources since our last appeal for donations from supporters last year.

To cover this gap and ensure we effectively defeat these proposals during the coming months, we are aiming to raise at least £100,000 by midnight on Sunday 14 July.

We are, therefore, appealing to you to please give as generously as you can. Every single donation, no matter how small, will go towards saving the lives of the unborn and many others.

By stopping these threats, YOU can save lives over this coming period.

Will you make a donation now to help protect vulnerable lives from these threats?