Abortion in the United Kingdom

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Abortion in the United Kingdom is easily accessible and legal within twelve weeks of conception to all women. It is also fully legalised upto twenty-four weeks after conception, but less accessible. Women are legally entitled to not pay for the abortion, thus requiring every taxpayer in the United Kingdom to pay for the deaths of children.[1][2]

In theory, under the Abortion Act 1967, a woman's physical or mental health must be at risk for the abortion to proceed. Two doctors must sign that this is the case. However, due to the statistical technicality that carrying a baby to full term is more dangerous than an abortion, due to the risks of childbirth, all elective abortions are permitted and women do not generally have to give a reason.[3]

Public Opinion

An opinion poll of 1000 people in the United Kingdom in 2007 found that 77% of the population supported a woman's 'right' to choose to have an abortion.[4]

An opinion poll of 800 people in the United Kingdom in 2008 found that 81% of people believed the government should have no involvement in this matter and that it should be "left to the individual to decide." Furthermore, only 1% felt that abortion should actually be criminalised. Other than the 2% of people who gave no answer, the remainder all thought the government should do work to discourage abortion but should not criminalise it.[5]

While public opinion is strongly in favour of abortion, there is a strong feeling that the abortion limit should be reduced from 24 weeks to 20 weeks.[6]

Pro-life Movements in the United Kingdom

The All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group consists of only twenty MPs out of 646 (just over 3% of MPs). Anne Widdecombe has chaired the group in the past, and currently is a vice-chair. Interestingly, only eight members are from the 'Conservative Party'. Two are from the 'Liberal Democrats' and ten are from the 'Labour party.'[7][8]

There is also the ProLife Alliance group which was founded a political party in October 1996.[9] They receive limited support, amassing only 20,000 votes in the European election 2004. [10] However, they have been able to conduct events to raise Pro-life feeling in the country. They attack any move to promote abortion, euthanasia or human cloning and have been fervent in attacking the "forced abortion" policy of China. In 2009, they attended an Abortion debate in Cardiff, Wales by Anne Savoury. [11]

There are pro-life groups in the United Kingdom, but they are not very prominent.

References

  1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4350259.stm
  2. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Abortion/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  3. http://www.efc.org.uk/Foryoungpeople/Factsaboutabortion/MoreonUKabortionlaw
  4. http://www.abortionrights.org.uk/content/view/171/106/
  5. http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/jun08/WPO_Abortion_Jun08_quaire.pdf
  6. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/jan/29/health.publicservices
  7. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/398033.stm
  8. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmallparty/register/memi472.htm
  9. http://news.bbc.co.uk/news/vote2001/hi/english/parties/newsid_1334000/1334314.stm
  10. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/vote2004/euro_uk/html/front.stm
  11. http://prolife.org.uk/2009/11/abortion-debate-in-cardiff-thursday-26th-november/
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