Sajid Javid MP (Con; Bromsgrove) is the new Home Secretary, replacing the Windrush scandal-plagued Amber Rudd (Con; Hastings and Rye).
How is the new Home Secretary on issues touching upon the human right to life? The answer is mixed, but relatively positive.
Javid was elected in 2010. During the five years of the Coalition Government, there were two Parliamentary debates and votes relating to abortion:
- The Dorries Amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill in 2011, which sought to prohibit pre-abortion counselling by abortion providers. Javid voted in favour.
- The Bruce Amendment to the Serious Crime Bill in 2015, which sought to introduce an explicit ban on sex-selective abortion. Javid also voted in favour.
Earlier the same month as his vote in favour of the Bruce Amendment, however, Javid voted in favour of the Coalition Government’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations 2015, a statutory instrument that authorises the practice of embryo-destructive and exploitative mitochondrial donation techniques. As he was not a member of the Government at that time, this was an exercise of his free vote.
Since then, Javid has abstained on the only two matters before the Commons that had right-to-life relevance: the then Rob Marris MP’s heavily-defeated assisted suicide Bill, and last year’s Ten Minute Rule Bill by Diana Johnson MP (Lab; Hull North) to ‘decriminalise’ abortion (i.e. introduce abortion on demand, for any reason, at least up to 28 weeks, if not birth).
This is a mixed record, but certainly a relative improvement on Rudd, who voted against independent abortion counselling, in favour of mitochondrial donation, and whilst abstaining on all other maters is thought to be more sympathetic to abortion lobby aims, such as the extension of abortion funding to Northern Irish women.