Thursday, May 01, 2008

Steel calls for abortion on demand

Briefing. NB this is not the time to be hoping for a reduction in the upper time limit of abortion. This is the kind of concession which pro-abortions will want as a quid pro quo: Steel himself ambiguously suggested a reduction on the upper time-limit back in 2004.

From CFNews: The law may be changed to allow 'abortion on request' by ending the need for doctors to give permission for a termination, it has been disclosed. The change is being backed by Lord Steel, the architect of Britain's abortion laws, who has called for a more liberal regime to bring Britain into line with many Continental nations. Under the existing Abortion Act, drawn up in 1967, a termination can take place only after two doctors formally agree that the procedure is medically necessary.

That requirement may become the subject of a Commons vote next month when MPs debate the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, which could be used to amend Lord Steel's 1967 Abortion Act. Lord Steel said he would like his Abortion Act to be changed to end the requirement for two doctors to give permission for a termination during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The former Liberal Party leader said the change would create a regime of 'abortion on request. Other countries, our neighbours, have overtaken us,' he said. 'Most of our European neighbours allow a woman's right to chose up to the first trimester - not abortion on demand but abortion on request. ' Lord Steel was speaking as he outlined his opposition to attempts by pro-life MPs to use the embryology Bill to reduce the legal time limit on abortion from 24 weeks. The Bill has now left the Lords.

For the two-doctors rule to be removed, MPs would have to put forward an amendment in the Commons next month. Evan Harris, a Liberal Democrat MP who is leading the parliamentary pro-choice campaign in the Commons, said such an amendment was 'not ruled out'. But he said he hoped the Government would propose the changes. Dr Harris is a member of the Commons Science and Technology Committee, which last year concluded that the requirement for medical consent to abortion should be removed. 'The argument being, it isn't different from any other treatment,' Dr Harris said, suggesting that the two-doctor requirement can be a 'barrier' which means abortions take place later in pregnancy.

Dr Harris and other pro-choice MPs say the law should be informed by the views of the medical profession, which is pressing for an end to the two-doctor rule. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists last year told the science committee inquiry into abortion that the legal requirement for two signatures in the first three months of pregnancy was 'anachronistic' and should be scrapped. The British Medical Association also wants abortion to be available in the first three months on the basis of 'informed consent. ' MPs on all sides expect heated clashes next month in the Commons, which has not voted on abortion time limits for nearly 20 years

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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