Azara Blog: So-called pro-life campaigners lose the latest vote on abortion

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Date published: 2008/05/21

The BBC says:

Pro-life campaigners have vowed to continue their fight to cut the abortion limit after the next election.

MPs voted to keep the current 24-week cut-off following an impassioned Commons debate and a series of attempts to lower it to 12, 16 or 22 weeks.

There was a free vote but Labour MPs mostly backed the status quo - leaving anti-abortion campaigners pinning their hopes on a change of government.
The closest vote, on a 22-week limit, was thrown out by 304 votes to 233. Tory MP Nadine Dorries' proposal for a 20 week limit was defeated by 332 votes to 190.

Most Conservative MPs voted for a 22 week limit, while Lib Dem MPs split into two camps - with most senior figures voting for the status quo.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown and most of the cabinet voted to keep the existing 24 limit, as did Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.

But Catholic cabinet ministers Ruth Kelly, Des Browne and Paul Murphy voted for the lowest option - 12 weeks.

Conservative leader David Cameron voted for a 20 week limit and then for a cut to a 22 week limit - which was backed by most of the shadow cabinet.

Surprise, people who hate abortion will "continue their fight" to stop abortion. Their strategy for quite some time has been to make it more and more difficult to have an abortion, rather than seek an outright ban, because they know they have practically zero support in the country for that, except amongst diehard religious (mainly Catholic) nutters. It seems fairly likely that the 24 week limit will be reduced when the next Tory government takes over. This would be less of a problem if they would also at the same time take the step of making an abortion easier to have in the first place, so that women don't stray into later abortions through no fault of their own. But of course since it is abortion that they oppose, rather than any specific time limit, this is unlikely to be considered.

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