Socialist Worker

Lords attempt to restrict abortion

by Farah Reza, executive member of the Abortion Rights campaign
Issue No. 2081

The first shots in a battle to roll back women’s rights to abortion have been fired in the House of Lords.

Two amendments aimed at restricting abortion rights have been tabled to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, currently in the Lords.

One proposes a “national human bioethics commission” that would “represent the importance of human dignity and the sanctity of life” and consider the “theological, philosophical and ethical dimension” of laws relating to abortion and genetics.

The other amendment proposes to repeal parts of the current law that allow women access to abortion on the basis of complications to do with severe foetal abnormality.

These amendments are part of a wider war on abortion rights that is set to intensify next year. Now is the time for people to sharpen up their arguments to defend abortion rights.

The debate will move to the House of Commons in February, where both anti-choice and pro‑choice amendments are likely to be tabled.

These will probably include efforts to reduce the legal time limit for abortions.

In 1979 the pro‑choice movement helped organise a 50,000 strong TUC-backed demonstration against the Corrie Bill, which tried to restrict access to abortion in a similar manner.

The people who were involved in that movement can inspire a new generation today to come out and defend a woman’s right to choose.

An open meeting organised by Abortion Rights will be held in the House of Commons on Wednesday 16 January.

Everyone should sign up to the campaign, add their email to the bulletin list and bring people along to this vital public meeting.

Go to » for more updates and resources.

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Article information

Tue 11 Dec 2007, 18:44 GMT
Issue No. 2081
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