Radical abortion amendments withdrawn

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Abortion amendments to the Criminal Justice Bill dubbed "extreme" by pro-life groups have been withdrawn.

The amendments sought to remove offences that currently make it illegal to perform a self-induced abortion up to birth.

They were tabled by Labour MPs Stella Creasy and Diana Johnson in what Right to Life UK called an "attempt to hijack" the Criminal Justice Bill.

The amendments were debated yesterday at Committee Stage of the Bill but were not taken to a vote and have now been withdrawn.

Right to Life UK's Catherine Robinson said, "While this is a positive development, it is now likely that these, or similar amendments, will be re-tabled by Creasy and Johnson or other MPs at Report Stage of the Bill, so this battle is likely far from over sadly."

Alithea Williams, public policy manager at the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, agreed that "the danger is not over".

"It is now very likely that one of these amendments, or a new version of them, will be brought back at Report stage of the Bill in February," she said.

She urged pro-life supporters to contact their MPs to raise concerns about the amendments ahead of any vote at Report stage.