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Govt will not back legal right to abortion

Abortion
29 June 2022
Raab

The UK Government has opposed a call for abortion to be enshrined as a legal right in new legislation that will replace the Human Rights Act.

Labour MP Stella Creasy announced yesterday that she would table an amendment to the Bill of Rights Bill to give women the 'fundamental right to abortion'.

She was supported by fellow Labour MP Rosie Duffield, who said the government should accept a "cross-party amendment to the forthcoming bill of rights which enshrines a women’s right to choose in law”.

The move comes after the US Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, a contentious 70s court ruling that enshrined a right to abortion in the United States.

Speaking this afternoon, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said the position was “settled in UK law which is "decided by members across this house", adding, "I don’t think there’s a strong case for change".

He added: “What I would not want to do, is find ourselves, with the greatest respect, in the US position where this is being relitigated through the courts rather than settled as it is now settled.”

Conservative MP Danny Kruger rowed in behind Dominic Raab's statement, saying he would "probably disagree" with other MPs about the US Supreme Court decision. He said:

"They think that women have an absolute right to bodily autonomy in this matter, whereas I think in the case of abortion that right is qualified by the fact that another body is involved".

"I would offer to members who are trying to talk me down that this is a proper topic for political debate and my point to the frontbench is I don't understand why we are lecturing the United States on a judgment to return the power of decision over this political question to the states, to democratic decision-makers, rather than leaving it in the hands of the courts."

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