In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Nick Herbert voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 12 weeks. After four separate parliamentary votes on varying time limits, the majority of MPs voted to keep the abortion time limit at 24 weeks, hence no abortion amendments were added to the bill.
The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report of October 2007 had found no good evidence of change since the limit was set in 1990, and hence no new reason for a reduction. However, it acknowledged that this was only one of many factors to be taken into account when legislating, and did not make any recommendations as to how MPs should vote.
In February 2015 Nick Herbert 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.
Report in the Telegraph from February 2010, suggesting he thought same-sex marriages should be allowed those churches that wished to allow it: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/7257710/Government-should-not-stand-in-way-of-homosexuals-marrying-in-church-say-Tories.html
Mr Herbert on Newsnight in March 2012 defending government plans to "push ahead" with same-sex marriage legislation: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/9706472.stm
Mr Herbert was one of a number of Conservative Party MPs to sign a December 2012 letter to the Telegraph in support of same-sex marriage. It also noted:
- "We feel strongly that religious freedom must be protected. This means that religious groups should be allowed to conduct same sex marriages if they choose, but equally none should be compelled to do so."
Mr Herbert had entered a same-sex civil partnership in 2009.
Commentary on Mr Herbert's May 2013 call for the return of the Communications Data Bill: http://www.bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/home/2013/05/5407.html (from civil liberties campaigners Big Brother Watch). Context: Nick Clegg withdrew his party's support for the Bill in April 2013 making it very unlikely that it would become law.
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