In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), David Lammy voted to keep the current time limit of 24 weeks in line with the scientific and medical consensus.
Prayers at Local Council Meetings
In February 2012, the High Court ruled that Bideford Town Council saying prayers at the start of their meetings was unlawful as there was no specific statutory power permitting them, which is required for any council activity under a 1972 Act. The legal action had been brought by the National Secular Society and in media quotes they framed the issue in terms of the secular environment of the meetings and freedom of religion/human rights. Following the judgement, Mr Lammy appeared on BBC Radio 4's Any Questions that week. When asked about the Bideford decision he said:
- "Well, I'm glad, if it's the case, that this isn't about the individual's human rights, because I would want to assert our collective rights. And I do think that this country has a history, it is largely a Christian country. And therefore, I think it's completely normal that in council proceeding, in the House of Commons, in many schools up and down the country, people gather for prayer. But I also think that if you are Muslim, or Jewish, or of no faith, you do not have to take part in that practice. I do worry about an aggressive secularism, that is drowning out the ability of people of faith to live with that faith and also caricatures people of faith in a particular way. And ... I'd want to look at the judgement carefully, because Mehdi has read it and I certainly have not, but I do think our collective rights, and our collective history is important."
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