UK shouldn't be lecturing US on Roe v Wade, says Conservative MP

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Conservative MP Danny Kruger has spoken against the suggestion that the UK make representations to the US government over the Supreme Court's decision to strike down Roe v Wade. 

The historic decision last Friday overturned the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that enshrined a legal right to abortion in the US. It means that individual states should decide their own abortion laws. 

In the UK Parliament on Tuesday, it was suggested by pro-abortion Labour MP Diana Johnson that UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss make representations to the US government "about ensuring that women's rights to access reproductive healthcare are protected as part of her department's work on promoting human rights internationally".

Most MPs spoke during the debate to support a "right" to "safe abortions" and to call the Supreme Court's decision a "backward step".

Kruger was among the few to express support for the Supreme Court's decision.

He said, "I recognise the degree of distress and concern felt by many Members in the House over the Supreme Court's decision.

"The fact is, though, that I probably disagree with most Members who have spoken so far on this matter. They think that women have an absolute right to bodily autonomy in this matter.

"However, I think that, in the case of abortion, that right is qualified by the fact that another body is involved. We can disagree on that question, but I offer to Members who are trying to talk me down that this is a proper topic for political debate.

"My point to the Minister on the Front Bench is that I do not understand why we are lecturing the United States on a judgment to return the power of decision over this political question to the states—to democratic decision-makers—rather than leaving it in the hands of the courts." 

Carla Lockhart, DUP MP for Upper Bann, observed in her comments during the debate that "abortion is not and has not ever been deemed a human right in any binding international law".

She said, "In fact, almost the opposite is the case. Some internationally binding treaties reference a right to life, such as article 6 of the international covenant on civil and political rights, which states: 'Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law.'

"Part 5 of the same article specifically excludes pregnant women from the death penalty.

"Does the Minister not agree that giving legal protection to the unborn is, arguably, a clear recognition of the unborn life? America has done just that, and I welcome the bold and courageous decision." 

Jim Shannon, DUP MP for Strangford, urged the UK government to condemn the acts of violence and death threats that have followed the Supreme Court decision.

"I would defend the rights of the woman but especially the rights of the unborn child. Some in this House tend to disregard that," he said.