By Hilary White
LONDON, October 31, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The UK’s Commons Committee on Science and Technology has issued its report saying that Britain’s abortion law should be further liberalised so that women can abort their children more easily. The report recommends scrapping the requirement of two doctors to sign an approval and says women should be allowed to self-administer the second stage of drugs associated with the deadly RU-486 drug regime and “miscarry at home” away from medical supervision.
The Committee concluded that the gestational age limit of 24 weeks should remain in place and “that there is no scientific basis – on the grounds on viability – to reduce the upper time limit”.
“The Committee supports the removal of the requirement for two doctor’s signatures before an abortion can be carried out” and is “concerned that the requirement”“may be causing delays in access to abortion services.” In the British political system, a Commons Committee report is normally followed very closely in creating or amending legislation.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the Committee’s conclusions were “unusually” published at midnight after MP’s had already left for a week’s holiday, leading to accusations of railroading its conclusions and cutting off debate.
Such tactics were decried by one member of the Committee who said that the report “marks an untimely but sadly embarrassing end” to the inquiry which he called “shameful”. Tory MP Dr. Bob Spink had strongly criticised the Committee for loading both its membership and witnesses with pro-abortion positions.
“It is simply laughable to compare the viability of aborted babies,” Spink told the Telegraph, “who would almost all otherwise be born healthy, with babies who are sadly pre-term, usually indicating pre-disposing medical problems for baby or mother. But that is what the science committee report does.”
Dr. Spink was joined by Tory MP Nadine Dorries, issuing a minority report calling for a lowering of the 24-week age limit and tightening the law. The two accuse the Committee of making “selective use of evidence” and relying on “an incredibly biased list of pro-abortion witnesses.”
British pro-life campaigners reacted with outrage accusing the Committee of being heavily skewed towards the pro-abortion position. Anthony Ozimic, Political Secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said that reducing restrictions to abortion will result only in increasing the abortion rate, already one of the highest in Europe. One in five British pregnancies end in the child being aborted.
Ozimic said, “This pro-abortion report and the committee’s pro-abortion majority clearly shows that the pro-abortion lobby holds sway in Parliament”.
“Easier access to abortion places women under psychological pressure to have abortions,” he continued. “Pregnant women are often put under intense pressure and abortion can seem to be the only option. Experienced pregnancy counsellors report that many women and girls are making decisions to have abortions with little or no information about the development of their baby and the physical and psychological risks of abortion to themselves.”
The Liberal Democrat MP Dr Evan Harris, who sat on the committee, attacked Spink and Dorries for daring to publish the minority report, calling their evidence an “amusing mish mash of paranoid conspiracy theories, pseudo-scientific clap-trap and anti-abortion zealotry”. A protest from Dorries had led to a revision of the witness list that allowed a total of five pro-life witnesses with 13 being pro-abortion.
Harris, called by some Members of Parliament the UK’s “Doctor Death” for his enthusiasm for abortion and euthanasia, had previously accused the pro-life witnesses of deliberately concealing their ties to “anti-abortion” and Christian groups. Harris, a former junior hospital doctor and currently the MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, also serves on the council of the virulently anti-Christian National Secular Society.
Earlier in October, Lord Alton of Liverpool had complained that the Committee was stacking the witnesses. He said, “I think that the distorting of public policy by loading of committees of people who hold a particular view is disgraceful. We are getting perilously close to a totalitarian approach to making public policy where hearing all sides of the argument has been replaced by shrill voices trying to drown out any alternative view.”
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
British Doctors Gave Skewed Evidence to Keep 24 Week Abortion Limit
Eugenic Abortion for Minor Problems Criticised by Pro-Abortion Doctor
UK Commons Committee on Abortion Restrictions Heavily Biased in Favour of Abortion
Read coverage from the Daily Mail: