Andrew Turner

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Andrew Turner was the Conservative MP for Isle of Wight from 2001 until he stepped down at the 2017 general election.

Abortion

In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Andrew Turner voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 12 weeks against scientific and medical consensus which is currently 24 weeks[1]. After four separate parliamentary votes on varying time limits, the majority of MPs voted to keep the abortion time limit at 24 weeks, in keeping with scientific and medical consensus, hence no abortion amendments were added to the bill.

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Andrew Turner voted against allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease[2]. If allowed, mitochondrial donation would be regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) meaning that there would be ongoing assessment of the safety and efficacy of such procedures. An October 2014 briefing report by the HFEA, which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe[3]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[4]. The majority of MPs voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation.

Sex Education

In May 2011 Mr Turner voted in favour of Nadine Dorries' Sex Education (Required Content) "10 minute" Bill[5]. The Bill stated that "such education must include information and advice on the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity"[6]. It was criticised for only applying to sex education for girls, not boys, with critics also pointing to evidence that abstinence-only sex education (which does not necessarily lead to abstinence itself) does not protect young people from unwanted pregnancies or STIs[7] (although this was not a bill advocating abstinence-only sex education, it would have meant that the only required elements of sex education would be basic information on reproduction[8], plus this new content on abstinence, with further content being up to the individual school)[9]. The Bill passed its first reading by 67 votes to 61, but had little chance of becoming law and was withdrawn in January 2012 shortly before its second reading[10].

Religion

Cornerstone Group

Andrew Turner is a member of the Cornerstone Group, a group within the Conservative Party that describes itself as believing in "the spiritual values which have informed British institutions, our culture and our nation's sense of identity for centuries, underpinned by the belief in a strong nation state."[11]. Their website includes articles on Conservative and Christian political issues.

Blasphemy Law

On 6th May 2008, Andrew Turner voted against a Lords amendment to abolish the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel[12]. The amendment was nonetheless passed by a vote of 378 to 57.

Same-Sex Marriage

Andrew Turner voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at both its second reading in February 2013[13] and its third reading in May 2013[14].

References

  1. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  2. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Andrew_Turner
  3. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500
  5. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110504/debtext/110504-0001.htm#stpa_o51
  6. http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-12/sexeducationrequiredcontent.html
  7. http://www.thetwentyfirstfloor.com/?p=2325
  8. http://www.drpetra.co.uk/blog/what-do-we-want-from-sex-and-relationships-education/
  9. http://educationforchoice.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/abstain-from-abstinence-please-dorries.html
  10. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/jan/20/nadine-dorries-sexual-abstinence-bill-withdrawn
  11. http://cornerstonegroup.wordpress.com/about/
  12. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2008-05-06&number=170&display=allvotes
  13. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Andrew_Turner
  14. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Andrew_Turner

External Links