The abortion reform campaign doesn’t look like a dead duck by any means. I can’t find any press coverage yet, so important exchanges are below the fold. From Pro Choice press release, Thursday 9 October
Yesterday pro-choice supporters flocked into the Commons to launch their
campaigning ahead of expected votes at the Report stage of the Human
Fertilisation and Embryology Bill now likely to be on the 22 October.
Diane Abbott Labour MP who has tabled New Clause 30 to extend access to
safe, legal abortion to women in Northern Ireland said:
Now we have been able to do something historic, to [table an amendment
to] extend the rights that all women of the Britain already have into
Northern Ireland. The issue here is, should there be a group of women in
the United Kingdom who are essentially second-class citizens?
Speaking of the anti abortion lobby Ms Abbott said These are a set of
people who are the greatest hypocrites, their real problem is with womens
enfranchisement. Given their way, they would take back the economic
progress and social progress that women have been able to make in the last
From Hansard. Questions to the Leader of the House (and minister for women).
Mr. Nigel Dodds (Belfast, North) (DUP): The remaining stages of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill are due to be taken on 22 October. Will the Leader of the House accept that that Bill is a highly inappropriate vehicle to impose a fundamental change in relation to the law on abortion in Northern Ireland? Given that the communities and all parties in Northern Ireland are united on the issue, if devolution is to mean anything, the wishes of the people of Northern Ireland should be respected in that regard.
Ms Harman: Obviously it is very important that the question of the view of the parties in Northern Ireland is taken into account, irrespective of the issue that is being raised. It is also important that the views of men and women are taken into account in all parts of the United Kingdom when services are being considered. As the hon. Gentleman said, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill will come before the House next week, and no doubt he will be able to make his points in the debate.
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London