In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Greg Mulholland voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 12 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.
Mr Mulholland voted for Nadine Dorries’s amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill on 7 September 2011, 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 Mulholland voted against allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease. 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. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed. The majority of MPs voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation.
Greg Mulholland signed the February 2009 Early Day Motion 754: MMR Vaccine and the Media supporting the use of the MMR vaccine. The motion expressed disappointment with the reporting of the vaccine by Jeni Barnett on her LBC radio show in January 2009, and expressed the hope that future reporting of the issue of MMR would be less sensationalist and more evidence-based.
University Tuition Fees
In December 2010 Greg Mulholland voted against increasing the upper limit on university tuition fees from £3290 per year to £9000 per year. The proposed increase was a response to the Browne Report, published in October of that year, which had proposed a complete removal of any upper limit on fees, together with other measures (largely adopted by the coalition government) to ease the burden of repayment.
In October 2010, Greg Mulholland signed Early Day Motion 767: Science is Vital Campaign. The motion stated that the house "believes that continued investment in research is vital in order to meet the technological and social challenges of the 21st century, and to continue to attract high-tech industries to invest here; further believes that large cuts to science funding are a false economy, due to evidence that research investment fuels economic growth".
Libel Law Reform
In January 2010, Greg Mulholland signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law. 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.
Marriage and Religion
In September 2010, Mr Mulholland proposed Early Day Motion 667: Humanist Marriage, which stated:
- "That this House celebrates the values of Humanists for their beliefs in love, commitment and humanity; recognises that in accordance with British equality and human rights law, Humanists should be treated equally with those of religious beliefs; believes that Humanists should be allowed to have wedding ceremonies outside a registry office like those given to persons of religious beliefs; and encourages hon. Members to support the right of their Humanist constituents to an independent wedding ceremony which recognises their own beliefs."
In February 2013 Mr Mulholland did not vote on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. He wrote a post on his website explaining his position: http://gregmulholland.org/en/page/marriage-same-sex-couples-bill
In April 2013 Mr Mulholland tabled an amendment to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill which would separate the legal act of marriage registration from any religious wedding ceremonies. He was reported to have indicated that he believed that the proper separation of civil and religious marriage was the way to both deliver equal marriage and adequately protect freedom of conscience.
In May 2013 Mr Mulholland voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its third reading.
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