The UK’s largest abortion provider has launched a campaign to get MP candidates to pledge to introduce abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth.
The ‘my pledge, my choice’ campaign was launched by abortion provider the British Pregnancy Advisory Service over the weekend. The campaign is asking constituents to ask prospective candidates to sign a ‘pro-choice’ pledge.
The pledge includes a commitment to, “Support further moves to decriminalise abortion in England and Wales in line with previous cross-party parliamentary bills and amendments, including the Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill 2017.”
The Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill 2017 was a ten-minute rule bill brought forward by Diana Johnson MP which sought to fully ‘decriminalise’ abortion by repealing ‘certain criminal offences relating to such terminations’. The radical abortion bill failed to pass at second reading.
The term ‘decriminalise’ is a misnomer used by abortion campaigners to describe the removal of almost all current safeguards around abortion.
Full decriminalisation of abortion involves repealing sections 58 and 59 Offences Against the Person Act along with the Infant Life Preservation Act. The Abortion Act 1967, sets out exceptions to this underlying legislation which last year allowed for over 200,000 abortions to take place in England and Wales. Without this underlying legislation, the Abortion Act would become redundant.
This change in law would scrap the current 24-week time legal limit for abortion – and abortion would be available on-demand, for any reason, up to birth. The current legal upper time limit would be completely abolished.
This would be the most extreme abortion law in the world. 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.
BPAS has not been shy about their intention to see abortion available on-demand, for any reason, up to birth.
At the launch of the We Trust Women campaign to ‘decriminalise’ abortion the organisation’s CEO Ann Furedi made the position of the campaign very clear saying: “I want to be very, very clear and blunt… there should be no legal upper limit.”
In an interview on ITV’s Loose Women Anne Furedi reaffirmed the position that abortion should be available up-to-birth along with stating her support for allowing sex-selective abortions to take place in the UK.
The proposed change in law is completely out of line with where women stand on the issue. Polling from Savant ComRes on whether time limits for abortion should be increased showed that only 1% of women wanted the time limit to be extended to more than 24 weeks and 1% wanted it to be increased right through to birth, in contrast to 70% of women who favoured a reduction in time limits.
Alongside campaigning to introduce abortion-up-to-birth, BPAS has objected to life-saving plans that would let coroners hold inquests for stillbirths over fears the move will recognise the humanity and personhood of an unborn baby.
Numerous women who had lost children in labour hit back at BPAS’ response. Among them was Caroline Tully, who had to fight for an inquest for her daughter Clara. She told the Mail on Sunday, that BPAS’ opposition “could come at a cost to the lives of unborn babies, by allowing unsafe practices to go unchecked.”
The release of the manifesto has come as Right To Life UK have launched a major general election campaign – the Vote For Both Lives campaign – a large-scale initiative that they will run throughout the country in the lead up to election day on 12th December. MP candidates are being asked to sign the Both Lives Pledge, which outlines three policy changes that are designed to increase protection for babies in the womb and end pregnancy discrimination for women. Independent polling by Savanta ComRes shows that all three policy changes are strongly supported by the public.
Constituents are being encouraged to visit www.righttolife.org.uk/bothlives where it takes 30 seconds to ask their candidates to sign the Both Lives Pledge.
A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:
“If this campaign was successful we would see the upper time limit completely abolished. Abortion would be available on-demand, for any reason, right through to birth. This means abortion throughout pregnancy.
Polling shows that this extreme proposal is not supported by women, with only 1% of women wanting the abortion time limit to be increased right through to birth.
The proposed law change would leave us with one of the most extreme abortion laws in the world and further position England and Wales drastically away from Europe where the most common abortion time limit among EU countries is 12 weeks.
MPs 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.”