David Steele & ‘abortion on demand’
An architect of Britain’s abortion law, Lord Steel, wants to scrap the need for two doctors to give permission for early abortions. Under the existing law, introduced by Lord Steel when he was an MP in the 1960s, two doctors must agree to a termination.
Abortions are allowed for ‘social reasons’ up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. In 1966, when Parliament was debating the bill, David Steel said: ‘[It is] not the intention of the promoters of the bill to leave a wide open door for abortion on request’.
But speaking recently Lord Steel revealed a change of mind by saying he wants to create a regime of ‘abortion on request’. He wants to remove the ‘two doctors’ rule for abortions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Last year Lord Steel admitted that abortion is being used as a form of contraception in Britain. He said he never anticipated ‘anything like’ the current number of terminations when leading the campaign to legalise abortion. About 200,000 abortions are carried out each year in Britain and almost 7 million since the Abortion Act was passed in 1967.