Leading article: Half a U-turn on abortion

A bit late in the day, David Cameron has sensed the danger lurking in an amendment to the Health Bill that would effectively prevent abortion charities from giving counselling. The threat was two-fold. First to the principle of a woman's right to choose – the change would complicate the process of seeking an abortion. But second, to the Conservative Party's appeal to women voters, who overwhelmingly support legal abortion.

The change would hardly be a vote-catcher except in some very narrow circles. We would not venture to judge which argument was the more persuasive. We would note, though, that even as Mr Cameron says he won't support it, the amendment has not been withdrawn.

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