British Pregnancy Advisory Service chief thinks UK should copy New York's radical late-term abortion law

Reuters

The head of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) has said she wants to see the radical late-term abortion law passed in New York state become reality in the UK too. 

The Reproductive Health Act (RHA) signed by governor Andrew Cuomo horrified pro-lifers by moving abortion from the penal code to the health code and allowing abortion up to the point of birth if the mother's life or health is at risk. It also removes the requirement in some cases for the abortion to be carried out by a doctor. 

The Catholic Church, evangelist Franklin Graham and Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz were among those who strongly criticised the bill. 

But writing in Spiked, BPAS chief executive Ann Furedi hailed the RHA as a 'breakthrough for choice' and said it was 'pretty much' what BPAS and other pro-choice organisations in the UK are campaigning for.

'It seems a sensible ask,' she wrote.

'Abortion is safe and nurses and midwives are well placed to provide it. If we respect women and respect their decisions about 'family planning', it seems insane to make an abortion that a woman requests criminal.

'What we'd like in Britain is for politicians to accept what policymakers in New York have agreed.'

Under current law, abortions in England, Wales and Scotland can be legally carried out before 24 weeks of pregnancy, but there is no time limit if the mother's life is deemed to be at risk or if the child is expected to be born with a severe disability. 

A parliamentary question asked by Sir John Hayes last December revealed that late-term abortions are on the rise in the UK. 

The answer from Jackie Doyle-Price revealed that the number of abortions after 20 weeks rose by 30 per cent from 2,753 in 2013 to 3,564 in 2017. 

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children was critical of any attempts to further relax UK abortion laws in light of the statistics. 

'The RHA in New York has rightly caused outrage,' it said.

'However, it also serves as a reminder that the provision that has sparked the most heated debate - late-term abortions - already happens on a large scale here in the UK.

'As for the other provisions in the bill, Ann Furedi and her allies in Parliament have made it clear that they are determined to go to any lengths (including hijacking a domestic abuse bill) to impose an equally extreme abortion regime here.' 

Lifestyle