Dan Byles was the Conservative MP for North Warwickshire. He entered Parliament at the 2010 general election, taking the seat from Mike O'Brien (Labour) by only 54 votes, and stepped down at the 2015 general election. During his time as an MP he was a member of the Energy and Climate Change Committee and the Science and Technology Committee.
Abortion and Evidence
In an interview in the Guardian in September 2008, Byles was asked if he thought the upper limit on abortion should be reduced from 24 weeks. He replied:
- ...if I were voting I would be very much minded to look at the current scientific and medical evidence before making a decision, but I would be minded on that current evidence to say 22 weeks.
In February 2015 Dan Byles voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease. An October 2014 briefing report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.
In May 2011 Mr Byles voted in favour of Nadine Dorries' Sex Education (Required Content) "10 minute" Bill. The Bill stated that "such education must include information and advice on the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity". 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 (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, plus this new content on abstinence, with further content being up to the individual school). The Bill passed its first reading by 67 votes to 61, but had little chance of becoming law and was withdrawn in January 2012 shortly before its second reading.