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Where do the Tory Leadership Candidates Stand on Life Issues?

In the wake of the U.K. vote to leave the European Union, David Cameron has decided to resign as Prime Minister. This means that the Conservative Party will now go through a leadership election, with the aim of having a new leader in place before the Conservative Party Conference at the beginning of October.

The following summaries and accompanying table discuss the views of the putative candidates (updated):

Liam Fox (No longer running) – Past leadership contender and Defence Secretary Liam Fox has had a long-standing and consistently good voting record on life issues, being the best of the crop thus far on that basis. Well liked and respected, the only question is whether he can secure the confidence of his Parliamentary colleagues after the Werritty scandal of 2011, with which his successful libel action may help.

Andrea Leadsom – An MP since 2010, Leadsom has not had much time to leave an impression on right-to-lifers, but her votes in that short time have been consistently good. Voting in favour of the Bruce amendment to the Serious Crime Bill on sex-selective abortion, and against the Marris assisted suicide Bill last year, the signs of her inclinations on life have been very positive indeed. Perhaps tellingly, she is the only candidate to have turned up to the vote on embryo-destructive ‘mitochondrial donation’, and vote against.

Stephen Crabb (No longer running) – Aside from disappointingly voting in favour of ‘mitochondrial donation’, Crabb has been profoundly sympathetic to right-to-life aims, having voted for a reduction in the upper limit for ‘social abortions’ to 12 weeks. That he is a principled Christian has also become apparent more recently. Whether as a Remain campaigner he is a credible candidate to secure the leadership will be an important question.

Theresa May – Home Secretary since 2010, May has voted well on life issues, when she has attended votes. This suggests a sincere albeit relatively moderate right-to-life stance. She is respected, but not thought to command the support amongst fellow Tory MPs to succeed in becoming leader.

Michael Gove – Controversial former Education Secretary Michael Gove was a major figure in the Vote Leave campaign, giving him credibility as a potential new leader. He has largely abstained on votes to do with life issues. Of the few in which he has taken part, he voted in favour of a ban on animal–human hybrids and ‘saviour siblings’, but voted in favour of ‘mitochondrial donation’ last year. Having voted against the Marris Bill, his record would be similar to that of Stephen Crabb, except that his large number of abstentions suggest that right-to-life issues are much less of a priority to him than the other candidates.

Tory leadership on abortion

 

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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Dear reader

In 2020, the UK Government imposed an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland, which included a provision that legalised abortion right up to birth for disabilties including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

A new Bill has been launched at the Northern Ireland assembly that will remove the current provision that allows abortion for ‘severe fetal impairment’.

It is under these grounds in the regulations that babies with disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot can currently be singled out for abortion in Northern Ireland because of their disability and can be aborted right up to birth.

Before the new abortion regime was imposed on Northern Ireland in 2020, disability-selective abortion for conditions such as Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot was not legal and there was a culture of welcoming and supporting people with these disabilities rather than eliminating them.

This is reflected directly in the latest figures (2016) from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, which show that while there were 52 children born with Down’s syndrome in Northern Ireland, in the same year only 1 child from Northern Ireland with Down’s syndrome was aborted in England and Wales. 

This contrasts with the situation in the rest of the United Kingdom where disability-selective abortion has been legal since 1967.

The latest available figures show that 90% of children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome before birth are aborted in England and Wales.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to take 30 seconds of your time and add your support to the campaign to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot in Northern Ireland.

If you live in Northern Ireland: 
Ask your MLAs to vote to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot:

If you live outside Northern Ireland: 
Show your support by signing this petition in support of the Bill:

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Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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