This Tuesday (May 20th) as part of the the Human Embryo and Fertilisation Bill, there will be a vote on whether to reduce the legal limit for abortion procedures from 24 weeks to 20. This is an extremely important issue and should be subject to open national debate first with the opportunity for all arguments and opinions to be heard. This is not a ‘women’s issue’, it is about access to necessary and life-saving medical care.
I don’t want to get into a full discussion about abortion right now, although I might look at it in another post. However, I do want to make an urgent appeal. Please write to your MP asking them to keep the limit at 24 weeks, because this is not about ‘abortion’, this is about access to very necessary health care procedures. Late term abortions are rare and normally carried out as a last resort if the health of the child or the mother are at risk. Having to carry to full term and then go through the birth of a child that you know will not survive or may even be stillborn is devastating and incredibly traumatic. In these cases, it is fairer to terminate the pregnancy and let the parents mourn and try again for another child. Some debilitating diseases such as Edward’s Syndrome are usually only detected in weeks 20-21 onwards. Finally, I probably don’t need to explain that if the pregnancy kills the mother then the child will not survive either and we are obligated to save lives where we can.
If you are anti-abortion/pro-life, I respect your opinions and your right to discussion and protest, but please do not block access to health care causing unnecessary lives to be lost. Please continue to voice your opinions, but please help protect access to necessary medical procedures.
For more information and advice for writing to or phoning your MP, see the Abortion Rights campaign. There will be a protest in Edinburgh on Monday 19th at 6pm at the Mound. Here are 24 reasons for 24 weeks. Finally, some evidence that this is part of a sustained attack on abortion rights.