Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Well, maybe just one small change

David Steel is on good form today with his article about why the 1967 Abortion Act should not be altered.

I have blogged before about Steel's views on possible changes to the act which he piloted through Parliament. Despite the siren voices urging a ban on abortion after 22 weeks or even earlier, Steel is right to point out that there has been no advance in neonatal science which would justify such a change. Those who argue for a reduction usually oppose abortion altogether and would be better off being honest about making their case.

And he is also right to note that quite often those who oppose legal abortion also oppose measures to improve sex education and contraception. I think it makes little sense to discuss abortion without also touching on those issues.

My only disagreement with Steel is that I think there is a case for one small alteration to the Abortion Act. The requirement for any abortion to have to be approved by two doctors is outmoded and should be got rid of. Apart from that, any other change to the act would be a massive backward step.

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