Get Ready For 'Mail Order' Abortions, Campaign Group Warns Over Upcoming Bill
An upcoming bill would remove all restrictions on abortions, leaving the door open for sex selective, late-term and even 'mail-order' terminations, a campaign group is warning.
Labour MP Diana Johnson's ten minute rule bill, which would decriminalise abortion, was labelled an 'extreme position' by Not In Our Name, a group of midwives opposed to reducing restrictions on the procedure.
'There would be no grounds on which abortion could not take place and no "upper" gestational time limit,' a statement read.
'There would be nothing, legally speaking, to prohibit late term abortions, sex-selective abortions, nor anything to stop mail order abortions, or abortion pills being handed out by school nurse clinics.'
The statement comes after Ms Johnson explicitly denied her bill would open doors to abortion on demand.
She told Christian Today: 'The Bill does not seek to de-regulate abortion or change time limits. The provisions in The Abortion Act 1967 can continue but would be the responsibility of the professional bodies overseeing the medical profession rather than the Police and CPS.'
But Conservative MP for Lewes, Maria Caulfield, said she was 'surprised and deeply concerned' about 'such a radical proposal' from Ms Johnson.
'To remove all legal restrictions on terminations would allow abortion at any stage of pregnancy, for any reason. What would stop the serious potential abuses?,' she said.
'Already within our current legal framework we have seen doctors pre-signing forms, gender-selective abortions being offered, live babies being left to die following abortions that have gone wrong and children with minor disabilities, such as cleft palate, being aborted.
'It is alarming that in the midst of such abuse of the current law, it is being seriously proposed to parliament that we join a tiny handful of countries such as China and Vietnam where abortion is legal on demand until birth.'
Abortion is still technically illegal under an Act from 1861 and is punishable by prison sentence. The Abortion Act 1967 allowed for certain exemptions where two doctors are convinced the pregnancy would put the mother's physical or mental health at risk.
An investigation by the Daily Mail found women are being signed off to have an abortion after just a brief phone call with no contact with doctors.
Marie Stopes, the UK's second largest abortion provider, approves the procedure without having met the women and with the only reason given as 'I just don't want the baby', according to the paper.
Despite the reason given not being an exception under the Act, the case was filed as 'client is unable emotionally to continue with pregnancy', the investigation found.
Catholic Labour MP Rob Flello described his colleague's bill as 'dangerous and radical' because it gives the impression the idea has public support.
'This move is being pushed by the abortion industry who would profit from all legal restrictions being lifted from their practices. It is ironic that this bill comes at a time where the private abortion industry, who perform two-thirds of all NHS abortions, have been found wanting,' he said.
'If a rogue sector cannot be trusted at keeping within the current law, what makes us think they would be any more trustworthy when abortion is totally deregulated.
More than 11,000 have signed a petition against the bill that labels the move 'abhorrent'.
An accompanying letter to Ms Johnson reads: 'Your claim that the this bill will not amend the abortion time limit is untrue. You are either being duplicitous, or are unaware of the effects that this Bill will have.'
Christian Today have approached Ms Johnson for comment.