MPs call for 20-week limit on abortions

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Indy Lifestyle Online

MPs are to press for new legislation to cut the time limit for abortions down to 20 weeks in the wake of an expected vote by doctors to change the law.

MPs are to press for new legislation to cut the time limit for abortions down to 20 weeks in the wake of an expected vote by doctors to change the law.

Doctors' leaders claim recent medical advances mean that premature babies born at 22 or 23 weeks now have a greater chance of survival, raising serious ethical doubts over the 24-week limit for abortions.

Members of the British Medical Association, which represents about 110,000 practising doctors, are set to call for the 24-week time limit to be cut at their annual meeting on Thursday.

It is the first time the BMA has debated the issue since the last reduction in the abortion time limit in 1990, when it was lowered from 28 to 24 weeks.

A vote in favour of a cut would require the BMA, one of the country's most influential medical bodies, to actively campaign for a change in the law - increasing the chances of MPs being allowed a free vote on the measure.

Senior MPs believe the Commons is likely to support the move, which was widely aired in the run-up to the general election by politicians, including the Tory leader Michael Howard, church leaders and peers.

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