Three senior cabinet ministers – Ruth Kelly, Des Browne and Paul Murphy – voted to cut the time limit for legal abortions to just 12 weeks, the lowest limit stipulated in any amendment tabled last week. All three are sponsored by trade unions that are affiliated to the Abortion Rights campaign.
The T&G section of the Unite union sponsors Paul Murphy, the Welsh secretary. Unison sponsors Des Browne, the Scottish and defence secretary, while the Amicus section of Unite sponsors Ruth Kelly, the transport secretary.
Union members should be raising urgent questions about why their money is being used to back MPs who vote against their union’s policies.
They should begin a campaign to demand an end to the sponsorship of anti-abortion MPs.
Ruth Kelly is reportedly considering voting against the entire bill in defiance of the government. She is a member of Opus Dei, a Roman Catholic organisation that opposes contraception, abortion and embryo research – and which supported General Franco’s fascist regime in Spain.