In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Stephen Hepburn voted to keep the current time limit of 24 weeks in line with the scientific and medical consensus.
Animals in Medical Research
In 2006, Stephen Hepburn 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".
Faith based Adoption Agencies
In 2007, Stephen Hepburn signed 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.
Stephen Hepburn was one of 79 MPs who signed Early Day Motion 377 noting the achievements of Charles Darwin, and calling for Darwin's birthday to be designated a public holiday to honour "one of the fathers of modern science and one of Britain's greatest, if not the greatest, scientific minds."
Libel Law Reform
In February 2010, Stephen Hepburn 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.
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