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Parliamentary motion launched to reinstate in-person abortion appointments

An MP has tabled a motion to reinstate in-person medical appointments before abortion pills can be taken to determine the gestational age of the unborn baby and ensure women are not being coerced into abortion.

Carla Lockhart, MP for Upper Bann, introduced the Early Day Motion (EDM) to reinstate in-person appointments before a medical abortion as an important safeguard for the safety of women and to help prevent abortion coercion.

In an apparent reference to the recent tragic case of Carla Foster who had an illegal abortion at between 32 and 34 weeks gestation, the EDM notes that “recent illegal late-term abortions of viable unborn babies would not have been able to occur had in-person appointments to accurately assess gestational age been required”.

The EDM was launched in support of the At Home Early Medical Abortion (Review) Bill currently making its way through the House of Lords. The Bill specifically requires the Government to review whether in-person medical appointments, during which the gestational age of the pregnancy can be accurately determined before an at-home abortion occurs, should be reinstated.

Radical abortion amendment

In the same week, pro-abortion MPs Stella Creasy and Diana Johnson each tabled an amendment that proposes to remove offences that make it illegal to perform a self-abortion at any point right through to birth.

Prior to her tabling the amendment, during the debate on the Criminal Justice Bill, Johnson insisted that her proposal “would not change any law regarding the provision of abortion services within a healthcare setting in England and Wales”. However, since the majority of abortions now take place away from a clinical setting, women would be able to take abortion pills at home at any stage of their pregnancy up to birth without committing an offence.

Lockhart’s EDM urges Parliament to reject such proposals “that would likely lead to a worsening of the situation and the lives of many more women being endangered”.

A recent Government review of abortion complications in England between 2017 and 2021 has revealed that the complication rate for medical abortions is 160.33 times higher for abortions at 20 weeks and over when compared to medical abortions that occurred at 2 to 9 weeks. The complication rate is likely to be much higher for women performing their own abortions at home without medical supervision well beyond the current 24-week time limit.

Urgent need to reinstate in-person appointments

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said “Johnson’s and Creasy’s amendments propose removing offences that make it illegal to perform a self-abortion at any point right through to birth. These amendments would likely lead to an increased number of babies’ lives being ended through late-term abortions performed at home, as well as the lives of many more women being endangered. 

Carla Lockhart’s EDM and the House of Lords Bill recognise the danger of such abortions and seek to prevent these dangerous abortions from taking place”.

“The recent Government review highlighting the dangers of abortions after 20 weeks reinforces the urgent need for the Government to reinstate in-person appointments before all abortions take place to ensure that the gestation of babies can accurately be assessed”.

“The in-person requirement for abortion, which existed up until 2020, acted as a safeguard to protect women and their babies not only from abortion, which becomes increasingly dangerous for women at later gestations, but also from the threat of coercion”.

“Instead of pushing for fewer safeguards through these amendments, MPs who care about women and their babies should be lining up to sign Carla Lockhart’s motion and calling for the Government to urgently reinstate in-person appointments”.

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?