Last week the House of Lord held a short debate asking government to investigate reported law breaking by abortionists. This rare and important debate received little coverage by the media.
The proposal of the debate held on the 3rd of April was ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they intend to take to investigate reported law breaking by those carrying out terminations of pregnancies.
Baroness Knight of Collingtree spoke for the proposal, drawing parallels between the Abortion Act 1967 and Falconer’s Assisted Suicide Bill:
Baroness Knight of Collingtree (Con): My Lords, normally, when a Bill has been debated, taken through Committee and approved by both Houses, it is signed by the Queen and becomes an Act. After that, those breaking it will face possible arrest, fines or even imprisonment—unless it is the Abortion Act 1967. I well recall its passage; there were firm reassurances that its strictures would not permit abortion on demand. Today, more than 7 million abortions later, we have exactly that. So much has the Act been watered down and its safeguards ignored that it is now being quoted to warn those who will soon vote on euthanasia. It is an apt comparison because both deal with life and death. The warning is that the triple lock of the Falconer Bill is modelled on the wording of the old 1967 Act and will turn out just as ineffective.’
Baroness Knight of Collingtree then went through the clauses of the Abortion Act and gave evidence about how the safeguards are now routinely broken to enable abortion on demand.
‘Abortion law surely lacks clarity on matters that need to be clear. Furthermore, it suffers from those who play with words to the extent that it permits terminations that were never intended to be legal. In no way do I seek in the debate this afternoon to discuss the right and wrongs of abortion—there are many different views in this House on that. I do not mean to go into any of that. All I ask is that the law, as passed by Parliament, should be clear and upheld. Surely that is not an unreasonable request.’
Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB): My Lords, since the 1967 Abortion Act came into force on 27 April 1968, there have been more than 7 million abortions—around 600 every working day. I have some questions for the noble Earl.
As the law does not permit abortion on demand, and abortion was supposed to be a rarity, how in particular does the Minister explain the 66,000 repeat abortions last year—37% of the total—and the fact that, in some cases, individuals have had as many as nine repeat abortions? How does he explain that the majority of abortions are approved by doctors who have never even met their patients? Does he believe that Parliament and the law intended babies to be aborted after up to 40 weeks’ gestation on grounds such as having a cleft palate—breaking our laws on equality and discrimination? Does the noble Earl believe that Parliament wanted an estimated 4,700 girls to be aborted as just another choice, adding to the 160 million girls aborted worldwide?
The entire debate can be read here
M Donnelly: ”All I ask is that the law, as passed by Parliament, should be clear and upheld. Surely that is not an unreasonable request.’” Seems reasonable to me. Of further concern is that it should also apply to the “triple lock of the Falconer Bill”.