Geraldine Smith

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Geraldine Smith was the Labour MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale from 1997 until 2010, when she was defeated by David Morris (Conservative).

Abortion

In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Geraldine Smith 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.

Smith also campaigns to promote links between abortion and an increased risk from breast cancer.[2] The position has been promoted by "pro-life" groups in the United States, despite scientific and medical consensus concluding that there is no causative link between induced abortion and breast cancer after numerous studies.[3] (See also:Abortion-breast cancer hypothesis)

Embryo Research

Smith defied the Labour party whip by voting against the May 2008 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill designed to bring the regulatory framework for fertility treatment and embryo research in line with scientific advances. Prior to this she had joined calls for a free vote and stated that "With a whip or not, I will be voting with my conscience"[4]. Shortly after the vote, Smith spoke alongside Baptist Minister Graham Doel at a church sponsored event in Morecambe where she spoke about genetics.[5]

Smith, who is a practising Roman Catholic, stated, "I think there could be something in that Labour had strong Methodist leanings and a large number of Catholics, and the new Embryology Bill has been the influence of the new London elite."[6]

In August 2009 she criticised changes to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act which conferred legal parenthood on a biological mother's female partner, saying "To have a birth certificate with two mothers and no father is just madness."[7]

Homeopathy

Geraldine Smith was one of 206 MPs to sign the March 2007 Early Day Motion 1240 calling for the positive recognition of NHS homeopathic hospitals[8].

In March 2010, following the publication of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee's report "Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy", Smith signed Early Day Motion 908: Science and Technology Committee Report on Homeopathy, which was critical of the report[9].

Faith based Adoption Agencies

In 2007, Geraldine Smith seconded Early Day Motion 742 calling on the government to exclude "faith based" adoption agencies from the Equality Act to avoid such agencies being forced to consider gay couples.[10]

Libel Law Reform

In March 2010, Geraldine Smith signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[11]. The motion noted that human rights activists, scientists, writers and journalists are currently prevented from publishing, and the public prevented from reading, matters of strong public interest due to the chilling effect of the law.

References

  1. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  2. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23415610-can-abortion-raise-breast-cancer-risk.do
  3. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs240/en/index.html
  4. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7308997.stm
  5. http://www.thevisitor.co.uk/environment-health/Geraldine-Smith-discusses-genetics.4303521.jp
  6. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/articles/a0000291.shtml
  7. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/aug/31/lesbian-partners-birth-certificates
  8. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/1240
  9. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/908
  10. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/742
  11. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/423

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