In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Jo Swinson voted to keep the current time limit of 24 weeks in line with the scientific and medical consensus.
In February 2015 Jo Swinson voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to have genetically related 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.
Jo Swinson 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.
Animals in Medical Research
In 2006, Jo Swinson 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 July 2010, Jo Swinson signed four amended Early Day Motions critical of homeopathy: EDM 284A1: BMA Annual Representative Meeting Motions on Homeopathy, EDM 285A1: Effect of Homeopathic Remedies on Breast Cancer Cells, EDM 286A1: Homeopathic Medicines in the Treatment of Moderate to Severe Depression, and EDM 287A1: Homeopathy and Chronic Primary Insomnia. These amended motions were all against the use of homeopathy, and highlighted flaws in studies that had been welcomed by the original pro-homeopathy motions.
Prayers in Parliament
In March 2010 the topic of Parliamentary prayers was briefly mentions in the Commons. Ms Swinson noted:
- "... Given that MPs come from many different Christian denominations, different religions and, indeed, none, is it time to reconsider the House practice whereby the only way to reserve a seat in the Chamber makes it mandatory to attend Church of England prayers?"
Libel Law Reform
In December 2009, Jo Swinson 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.
The motion was tabled following the recent formation of Libel Reform Coalition, which has the backing of Index on Censorship, English PEN and Sense about Science. Sense about Science have been campaigning in defense of a member of its board of trustees, author and journalist Simon Singh, who has been sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association. They issued a statement entitled "The law has no place in scientific disputes".
In July 2011, action by Swinson was noted in an Advertising Standards Agency adjudication which found cosmetics advertising misleading: http://asa.org.uk/ASA-action/Adjudications/2011/7/LOreal-%28UK%29-Ltd/SHP_ADJ_149632.aspx - also reported by BBC
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