A pro-abortion MP who sought to make abortion available up to birth for any reason across England and Wales has withdrawn her ‘extreme’ amendment.
Diana Johnson, MP for Kingston-Upon-Hull North, has decided not to push for a vote on her amendment (NC 55), which would have introduced abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth.
Similarly, Rupa Huq MP has decided to withdraw her amendment (NC 42), which would have introduced a jail sentence of up to two years for offering support to women outside abortion clinics nationwide.
According to pro-life group Right To Life, if Johnson and Huq had pushed their amendments to a vote and lost, this would have been the first time a pro-abortion amendment or bill had been defeated in a vote in UK history.
During a debate on the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill on 5 July, many MPs spoke out against the amendment attempt, including Fiona Bruce MP, Sally-Ann Hart MP, Danny Kruger MP, and Bob Blackman MP.
There were also many MPs who don’t usually agree with the pro-life position on abortion, but were shocked by the proposal to introduce abortion up to birth.
The amendment that had been tabled by Diana Johnson sought to repeal all legal safeguards, including the need for a doctor to be involved in the operation, and would remove conscience protections for medics who do not wish to participate in abortions.
This would have given England and Wales one of the most extreme abortion regimes in the world, and could allow mothers to abort their child on the basis of their sex or skin colour.
Nola Leach, chief executive of CARE, called the amendment ‘dangerous’ and ‘a grave threat to the value of life’, and praised God that this ‘extreme amendment therefore has not been passed’.
Catherine Robinson, spokesperson for Right to Life UK, said, ‘The British public prides itself on being a reasonable, humane, and tolerant society. Such an extreme and radical proposal has no place in the UK.’
Meanwhile, a landmark legal challenge on abortion law was heard in the High Court on 6–7 July. Down’s syndrome campaigner Heidi Crowter and Máire Lea-Wilson, whose son Aidan has Down’s syndrome, have challenged a law that says babies with serious disabilities can be aborted up to birth.
Speaking to the BBC on the first day of the hearing, Ms Crowter told the interviewer, ‘I don’t understand the [abortion] law. If I had a baby I would want to keep it.’