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Time Restriction on Abortion Defeated in the UK

The United Kingdom House of Commons rejected a proposal on Tuesday that would reduce the current restriction on abortions after 24 weeks. According to the BBC News, the House of Commons defeated proposals to restrict abortions after 12 weeks or 22 weeks.

The UK has one of the latest time restrictions on abortion in the European Union, according to AFP. In 1990, the legal limit on abortions was reduced from 28 weeks to 24 weeks.

Anne Quesney, head of advocacy for Marie Stopes International, told the Telegraph, “Having secured this victory for common sense, compassion towards women’s needs, and sound medical science, it’s now time to look forward to the next stage of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. We expect to see progressive amendments introduced that will improve current legislation, not least the removal of the archaic requirement for two doctors to give permission before any abortion may be performed.”

Other challenges to women’s rights were also debated on Tuesday as part of the Human Embryology and Fertilisation Bill. The House of Commons rejected an amendment to the bill that would remove the requirement that fertility clinics consider children’s need for a father, reports AFP. This rejection provides lesbian couples and single women easier access to in vitro fertilization.

Sources:

BBC News 05/21/08; AFP 05/21/08; Telegraph 05/21/08; Medical News Today 05/21/08; Feminist Newswire 04/30/08; Marie Stopes International

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