No plans to review abortion law, insists health minister Earl Howe
Thursday 11 October 2012
The Government has “no plans” to review the abortion laws, health minister Earl Howe insisted today.
Lord Howe told peers that despite his boss, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, last week speaking out in favour of halving the current 24-week term limit, the Government would not be taking action on the issue.
Home Secretary Theresa May and Culture Secretary Maria Miller have also suggested they would support a reduction in the limit to 20 weeks.
But at question time in the House of Lords, Lord Howe said: "The Government has no plans to review the 1967 Abortion Act. It is Parliamentary practice that any proposals to change the abortion laws come from backbench members and decisions are made on the basis of free votes."
For the Opposition, Baroness Thornton said people were "worried" following the statements from Mr Hunt and other senior ministers.
"Of course they are entitled to their personal views but we also need to know how that might influence public policy," she said.
And she asked Lord Howe to clarify that his initial answer meant "the Government will not support any change to the abortion time limit for the duration of this Parliament".
Lord Howe told her Mr Hunt had been expressing his "long-held personal view".
He added: "Successive governments have taken the view that they should rest on the evidence and there is currently no call from the main medical bodies that a review of the Act in relation to time limits is needed.
"The British Medical Association and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists support that view. I hope you regard that as a clear enough answer."
- 1 Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly developing company in...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Application Architect/Developer - Peterborough, Cam...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Developer (C#, VB & ASP.Net, SQL Server, TSQL) - Pe...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Business Relationship Manager - Enfield, North Lond...