Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dorries' Termination of Pregnancy Bill

Background briefing: If Dorries gets the opportunity to present her flawed bill again, we will need to lobby MPs.

Dorries vows to try again. From SPUC: British MP has said that she plans to renew her call to reduce the time limit for abortions. Nadine Dorries, a Conservative, is to publish a new version of her bill which seeks to reduce the timescale from 24 weeks to 20 weeks. She said that her especial aim was to reduce the number of "barbaric" abortions involving lethal injections. The bill also calls for a one-week "cooling off" period between a request for am abortion and it being performed to allow time for counselling.

Previous update: the earlier bill was defeated. From SPUC: Nadine Dorries, a Conservative MP, presented a 10-minute rule bill today in the House of Commons to amend the law on abortion. The bill, which under Commons procedure stood no chance of becoming law, was defeated by 187 votes to 108. Mrs Dorries said her bill aimed to lower the time limit for abortion from 24 to 21 weeks - but it would not have affected the upper limit for disabled babies and some others, which is birth. Most late abortions are on grounds of disability. The bill proposed a 10 day "cooling off" period, following which women would be fast-tracked for abortion. Ms Dorries affirms that she is in favour of the so-called woman's right to choose on abortion. [SPUC]

Original appeal from SPUC. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) is seriously concerned about a proposed new abortion bill announced by Mrs Nadine Dorries, a Conservative MP.

Tomorrow mid-afternoon (Tuesday 31st October) Mrs Dorries will introduce a 10 Minute Rule Bill to amend the Abortion Act. This is a device to give the subject public attention.

1. Mrs Dorries misleadingly claims to be seeking a reduction in the upper time limit for abortion "from 24 to 21 weeks".

The abortion law was changed by Parliament in 1990 to permit abortion up to birth of disabled babies and for some other babies. Mrs Dorries's bill will mean abandoning disabled babies, who will still be allowed to be killed up to birth if her bill is passed. The 24 week limit which appears
in the Abortion Act only applies to abortions done, effectively, on social grounds.

2. Mrs Dorries wants to fast-track all abortions - even those over 21 weeks.

In a letter to MPs (18th October 2006), she says that her "bill will call for...a swifter accelerated process between the final consenting decision to the termination itself, so that women are not left waiting for long having made the decision to terminate..." In the same letter, she says: "I
would be interested to hear if you, like me, have had women at your surgery who have either been refused an abortion by doctors who oppose abortion, or who have had to wait for significant lengths of time after making the decision to have a termination." Mrs Dorries's bill would, therefore, put even more pressure on doctors with a conscientious objection to abortion.

3. Mrs Dorries's bill would contain a ten-day cooling-off period between a woman's first appointment and the abortion.

SPUC is seeking clarification on the details of this proposed period. Its presence in the bill does not make the other parts of the bill acceptable. In fact, its presence is justified by Mrs Dorries on the basis of a woman's choice and, thereafter, a woman's alleged right to access an abortion
quickly once that choice has been finally made. She says on her website: "It is vitally important that the principle of informed consent is established before any woman makes the decision to terminate a pregnancy. However, should the decision be to terminate, once this cooling off period has finished, my Bill would ensure that a woman could be fast tracked for a termination." (Our emphasis)

4. The pro-abortion lobby has a substantial majority in the House of Commons.

The pro-abortion majority in the House of Commons means that there will be ample opportunity for Mrs Dorries's bill to be made worse by amendments, and bringing about another pro-life catastrophe, as happened in 1990 when Parliament voted for abortion up to birth. Already, leading Parliamentarians, under the guise of discussion about late abortions, are
calling for changes to the law to allow even wider access to abortion.

5. Mrs Dorries says "I fully endorse the woman's right to choose" (press statement, 11th October)

Mrs Dorries claims that she is concerned to reduce the number of abortions. However, in reality her bill may mean that even greater efforts will be made to kill the unborn.

Please telephone your MP (on 020 7219 3000), expressing their concerns, and asking him/her to oppose Nadine Dorries's Bill. If you are unsure who your MP is, please visit www.locata.co.uk/commons If you want further information, please contact Anthony Ozimic by email at political@spuc.org.uk or by telephone 020 7222 5845

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen