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Britain Moves to Liberalize Abortion Law by Reducing Barriers

Legislators in Great Britain are preparing to make abortion more accessible to women by removing a requirement for prior approval from two different doctors and, in some cases, allowing nurses to perform the procedure. Members of parliament from all parties are set to “modernize” the 1967 abortion law by enabling women who are less than 12 weeks pregnant to abort without consulting a doctor, and allowing women over 12 weeks pregnant to consult just one doctor instead of two, according to UK newspaper The Independent and United Press International. They also seek to increase the availability of abortion by allowing trained nurses and midwives to conduct early abortions.

The proposed legislation, which is supported by the British Medical Association’s Medical Ethics Committee, is expected to receive “widespread backing” in the Parliament, according to The Independent. The ProLife Alliance’s Julia Millington told the newspaper that her group opposes the legislation because “abortion is already easily accessible and widely available.” Abortion Rights, a pro-choice organization, has campaigned to have the law reformed, contending that the 1967 law imposes “unnecessary obstacles and delays which discriminate against women,” reported the BBC.

Sources:

The Independent 9/2/07; United Press International 9/2/07; BBC 6/21/06

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