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Experts call for abortion changes

There should be a change in the abortion laws to give women greater freedom of choice, a group of medical experts has said.

The 85 medical law and ethics specialists have called for parts of the abortion legislation to be modernised in a letter printed in the Times newspaper.

They want qualifying conditions on abortion, which require women to obtain signed permission from two doctors before the procedure can take place, to be scrapped.

The letter said the law is outdated and no longer appropriate, while restrictions on where abortions can take place are no longer justified because of medical advances. The group also suggests that trained nurses should be allowed to carry out abortion procedures.

The controversial Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill is due to return to the House of Commons for further debate. A cross-party group of MPs have tabled a series of amendments to the abortion law.

These include allowing abortion-inducing drugs to be taken in the home as well as reducing allowing a termination with approval from one doctor.

If successful, these would be the first changes to the 1967 Abortion Act since 1990, when the 28-week maximum period for terminations was reduced to 24 weeks.

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Should abortion laws be changed?