In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Greg Hands voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 20 weeks against scientific and medical consensus which is currently 24 weeks. 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.
In September 2011 Greg Hands voted for Nadine Dorries’s amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill, which was ultimately defeated by 368 to 118 votes. This amendment would have stopped BPAS and Marie Stopes from providing counselling for women with unwanted pregnancies and allowed ‘independent’ counselling including that provided by faith-based organisations.
In February 2015 Greg Hands 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.
Animals in Medical Research
In 2006, Greg Hands signed Early Day Motion 1850: Animals in Medical Research which noted that "animal research is only permitted where there is no better alternative and that pain and suffering are minimised and balanced against the potential benefit to humans and animals", supported "the building of the new state of the art biomedical research laboratory at Oxford University", condemned "unlawful animal rights extremism, including any violence, harassment or intimidation of those associated with lawful animal research", and supported "the well-regulated use of animals in medical research".
In October 2010, Greg Hands responded to a communication from a constituent concerning possible cuts to the UK science budget in the forthcoming spending review, and the Science is Vital campaign. Hands wrote that as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer he could not sign EDM 767. He expressed the opinion that "Science IS vital, but so are a large number of other causes, and we will have to balance needs and aspirations very carefully".
Greg Hands 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.". Their website includes articles on Conservative and Christian political issues.
In June 2007, Greg Hands wrote a article for the Cornerstone Group titled "A Battle to defend Church Schools?". In it he stated that he was "greatly worried that under Gordon Brown, the Labour Government will throw a sop to its own backbenchers and seek to curb or restrict the nature of our church schools". He concluded by stating that "A coherent and far-sighted plan for our secondary schools will need more than top quality church schools, but they will at least be a big part of the solution."
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