Abortion-up-to-birth advocate's ministerial appointment alarms pro-lifers

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Right to Life UK has expressed concerns about the appointment of Diana Johnson as Home Office Minister.

Johnson, MP for Kingston upon Hull North and Cottingham, has previously tried to legalise abortion on demand up to birth.

An amendment tabled by Johnson to the Criminal Justice Bill in the previous Parliament would have legalised sex-selective abortion.

This led to hundreds of medical professionals writing in opposition to any change to the law, warning, "If offences that make it illegal for a woman to perform her own abortion at any gestation were repealed, such abortions would, de facto, become possible up to birth for any reason including abortions for sex-selective purposes, as women could mistakenly or wilfully mislead abortion providers about their gestational age."

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said that Johnson must not be allowed to use her new position as Home Office Minister to introduce extreme abortion legislation.

"Diana Johnson has a track record of leading attempts to introduce extreme abortion legislation during her time in Parliament. This has included failed attempts to introduce abortion up to birth and legalise sex-selective abortion," she said.

"Her extreme views are radically out of step not only with the general public but in particular with Labour voters, the vast majority of whom do not want to see abortion being made legal up until birth."

Polling has found that only 1% of Labour voters support raising the abortion time limit above the current 24 weeks, while 60% want it reduced to 20 weeks or lower. The same poll found that 89% of Labour voters were opposed to sex-selective abortion.

A separate poll earlier this year revealed broad opposition to decriminalising abortions on healthy babies over 24 weeks.

Ms Robinson continued, "We are calling on the Government to make it clear that they will reject any attempts to make extreme changes to abortion laws, and assure voters across the country that Diana Johnson will not be allowed to use her new position as a Home Office Minister to introduce extreme changes to abortion legislation."