A prominent MP has said he hopes Domestic Abuse Bill (DAB) will not be used to change the 1967 Abortion Act.
Gavin Robinson was speaking during the second reading of the DAB in the House of Commons on Tuesday 28 April.
Reflecting on the reason why the issue of stalking in Northern Ireland was not included in the Bill's measures, he recognised it was because it was deemed 'out of scope' of the Bill.
He then went on to say:
What’s abortion got to do with Domestic Abuse?
Sadly, some MPs have made no secret of their intention of using the DAB to try and change abortion law in England and Wales. If successful, this would no doubt lead to changes in Scotland as well.
The word being used to describe what is being aimed at is ‘decriminalisation’. Those advocating this suggest women are being criminalised for abortions.
However, as CARE’s Naomi Marsden argues in here, this is misleading at best and deliberately deceptive at worst.
While the terms of the 1967 Abortion Act means there is the possibility of imprisonment if an illegal abortion takes place, this has actually very rarely been used. It is simply not true to suggest women are being criminalised by current abortion laws.
Domestic Abuse is a real and present challenge
It is really important that we are in no doubt that the DAB is an incredibly important piece of legislation. Domestic abuse occurs on a shocking scale.
All people are image bearers of God and the same passion that motivates CARE to campaign for the value of life applies to speaking out against the abuse of any person.
The real danger here is that the issue of abortion will distract from the important issues being addressed by the DAB.
There is a better story
More abortion is the very last thing our nation needs. As we reflect on in this piece, since the 1967 Abortion Act first came into effect, more than 9 milllion abortions have taken place.
The DAB should be used to do what it is intended to do, which is address the very real issue of domestic abuse and violence across England and Wales.
In our view, to use the DAB to change abortion laws in England and Wales would be an inappropriate and morally wrong path to go down.