Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2006-7

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The Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2006-7 was a Private Members Bill introduced by Nadine Dorries MP on 18th December 2006. Dorries introduced a similar ten-minute rule bill in the Commons on October 31 2006; however it was rejected by 187 votes to 108.

The bill called for an amendment of the Abortion Act 1967. It stated:

Reduce the time limit for legal terminations of pregnancy from 24 to 20 weeks; to introduce a cooling-off period after the first point of contact with a medical practitioner about a termination; to require the provision of counselling about the medical risk of, and about matters relating to, termination and bringing the pregnancy to term as a condition of informed consent to termination; and for connected purposes.

Link:

Background

Dorries introduced a similar ten-minute rule bill in the Commons on October 31 2006; however it was rejected by 187 votes to 108.

Dorries has also submitted several questions to the house regarding the termination of pregnancy within the last year, primarily focusing on the issue of late abortions.[1]

The bill was referred to by Chris McCafferty MP as "cruel" and "an attack on women's reproductive rights" [2]was rejected by Parliament by 187 to 108[3].

In 2007 the Science and Technology select committee conducted an inquiry into Scientific Evidence Relating to the Abortion Act 1967. The resulting report from this inquiry concluded that while survival rates at 24 weeks (the current upper limit for abortion) and over have improved since 1990, survival rates (viability) have not done so below that gestational point. The Committee concluded that there is no scientific basis – on the grounds on viability – to reduce the upper time limit[4].

Nadine Dorries MP as a member of this committee and together with Dr Bob Spink MP published a minority report to the main committee's report, questioning some of the key findings and included an allegation that Dr Ben Goldacre had been passed information from the inquiry in breach of parliamentary procedure. He had in fact obtained this publicly available information through the House of Commons website [5].

In May 2008, she tabled an amendment to the proposed Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill seeking to reduce the upper limit for abortions to 20 weeks from the current 24 weeks of pregnancy. Her amendment was defeated by 332 votes to 190, with a separate 22 week limit opposed by 304 votes to 233 - with MPs continuing to support the 24 week limit[6].

Supporters of the Bill

References

  1. http://www.epolitix.com/legislation-archive/legislation-details-old/newsarticle/termination-of-pregnancy-bill-failed-bill-200607-session/
  2. http://www.politics.co.uk/news/health/medical-ethics/abortion/mps-reject-abortion-limit-cut-$456368.htm
  3. http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/rp2001/rp01-054.pdf
  4. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  5. http://www.badscience.net/2007/10/oooooh-im-in-the-minority-report/
  6. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7409696.stm