As the emergency Coronavirus Bill speeds through Parliament, pro-abortion campaigners have been busy attempting to get amendments passed to further liberalise abortion law in England and Wales.
As the bill reaches Committee Stage in the House of Lords today (25 March), amendments have been tabled which would fundamentally change the 1967 Abortion Act.
Although the changes are being described as ‘temporary’, they would still represent the biggest change to abortion law in England and Wales since the ’67 Act came into law. This would take place without proper debate and scrutiny. They could also endanger and harm women and babies.
What’s being proposed?
Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle and Baroness Barker have tabled amendments 6 and 14 to introduce a new Schedule to the Bill to amend the 1967 Abortion Act as it affects England and Wales.
If passed, these amendments would mean:
- Nurses and Midwives will be able to certify any and all abortions, including late term abortion. This would change who is allowed to decide if an abortion is allowed.
- Only 1 medical opinion needed in some cases: generally, 2 doctors are required to decide if an abortion should go ahead. The proposed change would allow only 1 doctor/nurse/midwife to make the determination if two would be “impractical” or “involve undesirable delay” in any circumstance.
- Doctors and nurses can prescribe from home: rather than decisions being taken in an approved medical setting, like a hospital or clinic, the amendments would mean doctors and nurses can prescribe from home.
- Women will be able to take both abortion pills at home without any gestation limit if they have had a consultation via video link/telephone, conference call or other electronic means.
- No extension of the conscience clause: this means those who object on conscience grounds will not be protected.
CARE believes that this is not the time to be introducing significant changes to the legislation without due debate and process. We are deeply concerned that these proposals are not in the best interests of women and could lead to more women having complications and needing NHS treatment placing an extra demand on the health service.
Please join us in praying that these amendments will not pass. The Government said in the House of Commons on Tuesday 24 March that there are no plans to change abortion laws due to COVID-19. Pray specifically that they will hold the line.