This site is intended for health professionals only

MPs plan to make abortions easier

Women will be able to take drugs home with them to induce abortions under plans put forward by a cross-party group of MPs.

Another major change would allow nurses, with the relevant qualifications, to undertake terminations and increasing the number of places where they could be performed.

The plans, in amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill for debate next Monday, also include reducing the number of doctors needed to approve terminations from two to one.

Labour's former health secretary Frank Dobson, Tory frontbencher Jacqui Lait and Liberal Democrat science spokesman Evan Harris are included among the sponsors. Pro-life MPs are sure to be vigorously opposed to the moves.

If successful, they 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.

An attempt to further cut the limit to 22 weeks was defeated in the Commons in May.

Now, MPs in favour of a liberalising the abortion laws are trying to implement recommendations put forward by the Science and Technology Select Committee last year.

The committee said there was no need for women seeking an abortion to get the approval of two doctors or for early-stage abortion drugs to be taken on approved premises.

Copyright © PA Business 2008


Click here to take part in our latest NiP survey.

Do you support this initiative? Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"I am completely opposed to this initiative. Life IS precious, no matter how early a stage that life is at. Britain already has too high an abortion rate and more sex education is not the answer, despite the common "wisdom". Our young people need to be taught the value of their own lives and bodies, then they might not be so blase about sexual relationships and their consequences." - Carol, Derbyshire

"No I most certainly do not. Life is precious and it is already far too easy to have an abortion. A more simpler way is to keep one's legs crossed!" - Chris Forest-Potter, East Midlands