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‘Cruel law’

September 2014

A baby was aborted at 39 weeks, just days before it was due to be born, under what MPs have termed Britain’s ‘medieval and cruel’ abortion laws. National Health Service guidelines consider a baby is full-term at 37 weeks.

In a report from The Sun newspaper, the abortion was allowed under guidelines that allow termination where there is a ‘significant risk’ the child will be disabled.

Abortion beyond 24 weeks can only legally be carried out if there is a grave risk to the life of the mother or severe foetal abnormality. Such a procedure routinely involves giving the baby an injection, usually of potassium, into its heart.

According to figures from the Department of Health, there were 190 abortions beyond the 24-week limit carried out last year, almost 20 per cent up on the previous year.

Conservative MP Fiona Bruce, co-chairman of the all-party parliamentary pro-life group, said, ‘I do not understand how we can have a law that allows the life of a baby with a disability to be ended at full term.

‘It is a graphic illustration of society’s inconsistency on disability. After birth, we work hard to ensure equality, but before birth we have laws to prevent the disabled taking their first breath. This medieval, cruel, discriminatory law must change’.