Alison Tuffnell writes on recent discussion of abortion, both here and across the pond. From the University of York’s Yorker:
Once again, the issue of abortion is in the news. The personal statement by the new Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, that the abortion limit should be halved to 12 weeks, caused a media storm on the opening day of the Conservative Conference in Birmingham. The Conservatives have past form in wanting the abortion limit reduced, with some even opposing the idea of abortion. Maria Miller, the Minister for Women, calls for a reduction to 20 weeks, as does Home Secretary Theresa May and Tory MP Nadine Dorries. Even David Cameron believes in a ‘‘slight reduction’’. But this is not just an attack on abortion but an attack on women’s rights. This reflects the attitudes of the Conservatives’ ideological ‘partners’ in the USA, the Republican Party.
Hunt may hide behind his ‘sources’ stating that medical advances means the abortion limit is too long, but this is neither fair nor true. Only a tiny percentage of babies survive at 24 weeks, and only a minute percentage of abortions are carried out after 20 weeks. The vast majority are carried out before 13 weeks. The group, Abortion Rights, state that there is no scientific basis in a reduction and that all the main UK medical bodies support the current limit. So this isn’t a scientific opinion, but a personal and political one…
Full story here.