Thousands urge Labour Party to scrap abortion up to birth pledge

Thousands of people have signed a petition urging Jeremy Corbyn to scrap the Labour Party’s pledge to introduce abortion up to birth, for any reason, to the UK.

The life-and-death call comes from pro-life campaigners ahead of polling day tomorrow, amid fears the UK could have the most extreme abortion law in the world and become a hotspot for ‘abortion tourism’ for the rest of Europe.

Right To Life UK are encouraging supporters to find out where their local candidates stand on abortion by visiting using their recently launched candidate database tool which details voting records and which pledges a particular candidate has signed.

The Labour Party manifesto, released last month, outlines (page 48) that the party is seeking to ‘decriminalise abortions’.

Full decriminalisation of abortion involves repealing sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act along with the Infant Life Preservation Act. The Abortion Act 1967, sets out exceptions to this underlying legislation which provides a set of criteria outlining when these acts can legally be ignored. Under these exceptions over 200,000 abortions took place in England and Wales last year. 

Within the Act, there is a strict time limit of 24 weeks for abortions that are performed under section 1(1)(a) of the Act. If sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act and the Infant Life Preservation Act were repealed, the Abortion Act would become redundant, and so would the 24-week time limit.

Repealing sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act along with the Infant Life Preservation Act would scrap the current 24-week time limit for abortion – and abortion would be available on-demand, for any reason, up to birth. The upper time limit would be completely abolished.

The change would position England and Wales drastically away from the European Union, where the most common abortion time limit among EU countries is 12 weeks. It could mean the UK becomes a hotspot for ‘abortion tourism’ from countries that have more safeguards, in law, protecting unborn babies from termination.  

Pro-abortion commentators have applauded the decision, making it clear that full ‘decriminalisation’ would scrap our current legal time allowing for abortion to be available for any reason up to birth.

However, the proposal is completely out of line with where women stand on the issue. Polling from Savanta ComRes shows that 70 percent of women favour reducing the time limit on abortion; while only 1 percent are in favour of extending it.

Journalist Melanie McDonagh has condemned Labour for their radical proposals, saying: “this move by Labour to decriminalise the [abortion] procedure takes us into a very dark place…

“These are seismic changes concerning deeply important ethical issues — and they simply cannot go unremarked.

“How deeply ironic that the party that makes a big deal about being pro-women would make it possible to abort girl foetuses on the basis of gender.”

A spokesperson for Right to Life UK Catherine Robinson said:

“Is the record number of 200,608 abortions for English and Welsh residents in 2018 not enough for Labour? Is 1 in 4 babies being aborted not enough for Labour? Is the recent news that five teenagers had at least their sixth abortion in 2018 not enough for Labour? Clearly not.

“The Labour Party should be committing to bringing forward sensible new restrictions and increased support for women with unplanned pregnancies. This would ensure we were working together as a society to reduce the tragic number of abortions that happen each year.

“Labour’s manifesto confirms that the abortion lobby will be back in full force in the next parliament, pushing to introduce new extreme legislation. That is why we are urging everyone who is against sex-selective abortion, pregnancy discrimination and wants to see our abortion time limits lowered to vote for MP candidates who have pledged to protect and support Both Lives.

“Please sign the petition to urge Jeremy Corbyn to scrap the pledge to introduce an extreme and inhumane abortion regime to the UK.”

Mayor of London uses Trump visit as occasion to push extreme abortion agenda

Facebook/screenshot

In a two minute video for ELLE UK, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has used Donald Trump’s visit to the UK as an opportunity to promote his own radical abortion agenda.

In relation to recent moves in Alabama and Georgia to implement strong pro-life laws which grant legal protection to unborn children, Khan laments the alleged “rolling back of the reproductive rights of women” as “some states [make] it almost impossible for women to have the right to have an abortion.”

However, there is no “right to have an abortion” at the federal level in the US and neither is there a right to an abortion in the state of Alabama. In fact, the state of Alabama has had a long standing legal precedent supporting the right to life of the unborn child, but has been unable to implement this law due to federal restrictions.

Khan goes on to mention the “consequences of women not having the right to [have an abortion]”. He does not however, mention that since abortion was made legal in the USA in 1973, over 60 million unborn US citizens have lost their lives to abortion nor does he mention the almost 9 million abortions that have taken place in the UK.

Sadiq Khan is known for his extremist abortion views through his support for the pro-abortion group Abortion Rights – a group which not only supports abortion without limit throughout all nine months of pregnancy but also organised a protest against the March for Life singing “We need abortions” drowning out Melissa Ohden, an abortion survivor, who was speaking on stage:

The Mayor of London finds himself entirely out of step with the views of those he is supposed to represent given a recent Onward poll showing that London is the most pro-life region of the country. More broadly only 1% of the population want abortion to be available up to birth and over 70% of women want the abortion limit to be reduced to 20 weeks or lower.

In response to the video, many on twitter have criticised Sadiq Kahn for claiming that his wide reaching statements on abortion represent the views and “values” of all Londoners.

Nursing student born at 23-weeks bravely speaks out against abortion up-to-birth proposal

Sophie Powell abortion to birth

Twenty year old nursing student second-year, Sophie Proud, who was born at 23 weeks, bravely spoke out at the UK Royal College of Nursing Congress today in a debate on the ‘merits’ of introducing abortion up-to-birth.

“I would like to draw your attention to a specialist field within children’s nursing: neonatology. One sentence within the Act says that abortion can take place up until the 24th week of pregnancy. I was born at 23 weeks, 20 years ago, and I believe that this should be looked at. I realise that without extensive medical intervention, I would not be standing here today. The viability of a foetus needs to be considered as I am living proof that there is a potential for a baby to survive before 24 weeks. The survival rates are higher now than they were 20 years ago thanks to medical advances.”

Sophie Proud, who was born at 23 weeks in 1996, was one of the youngest premature babies ever to survive at the time when she was born in April 1996 weighing just 1lb 9oz – around the same as a bag of sugar. Her twin died at birth.

Whilst there is a 24 week time limit on Ground C and D abortions (which are invoked largely for social reasons), there is no time limit for abortions in England, Wales and Scotland if the baby is thought to have a disability.

The debate at the RCN congress centred around the ‘decriminalistion’ of abortion, which would allow abortions to take place up until the moment of birth, for any reason whatsoever.

Sophie articulately demonstrates that scientific advances in recent years have made a mockery of the 24-week limit in the UK.

Her speech also reflects broader public opinion. A 2012 Angus Reid poll found only 2% of women wanted the time limit extended beyond 24 weeks, in contrast with 59% of women who favoured a reduction in time limits.

It also follows the widespread public outcry earlier this year after the president of the Royal College of Midwives, Cathy Warwick, (who is also the chair of UK abortion provider BPAS) signed-up the membership of the RCM to a campaign supporting abortion up-to-birth for any reason.