England and Wales are out of time and out of touch on abortion limits

Nov 23, 2021 by

by Georgia L Gilholy, The Mallard:

The UK may have left the European Union at the beginning of this year, but in one important aspect, our country has been disconnected from our continental cousins for much longer. Whilst the UK has permitted abortions in most cases up to 24 weeks since 1990, (before that, allowing up to 28 weeks, following the 1967 law change) the median among EU member states is half that at just 12 weeks.

This means that the UK’s upper abortion limit is double that of countries we consider culturally similar to ours, the likes of France, Belgium, Denmark, and Ireland. In Europe, only the Netherlands allows abortions as late as here, and a mere handful of countries across the world permit terminations at 24 weeks.

Some in Parliament want to see these extreme gestational limits raised yet further. Indeed, just this year we have witnessed a shocking attempt by Labour MP Diana Johnson to legalise abortions up to the moment of the birth of a child – a hideous move thankfully rejected by MPs.

By contrast, polling shows that 70% of British women want to see the current term limits lowered. In fact, the largest number of women surveyed (24%) preferred a reduction to 12 weeks’ gestation – which would effectively bring the UK in line with the majority of EU countries.

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