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Commons vote on abortion delayed

Issue No. 2110

New Labour has announced that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, due to be debated and voted on in the Commons this week, will be delayed until the autumn.

It will now be heard after parliament returns from its summer break on 6 October.

Harriet Harman said that the bill was put back to give it more time for debate.

A much more convincing explanation is that the government didn’t want the vote on the bill to take place before the Glasgow East by-election in case it upset Catholic voters in the constituency.

A number of positive amendments have been put to the bill to extend abortion rights. But disgracefully no Labour MP has yet tabled an amendment to extend abortion rights to Northern Ireland.

Several anti-abortion amendments have also been tabled. It is essential that campaigners for women’s rights use the next few months to build a movement to defend and extend abortion rights.

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Wed 16 Jul 2008, 18:58 BST
Issue No. 2110
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