Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A short Rullsenberg Rant: Abortion amendments - now I can go to bed

I have to say that the debates over recent weeks and days about reducing the abortion time limit from 24 weeks have disturbed me greatly. I don't often watch Parliamentary votes, but this was one I felt I had to know before I could begin to try and rest in my bed.

No-one has an abortion lightly. The reasons for doing so are always hard and complex and have social ramifications. Frankly, I don't care how much science can advance the survival rates for a foetus; the limit is now 24 weeks and I want it to remain that and not to be reduced. Taking and thinking through the decision to have an abortion takes time; some, already vulnerable women - exactly the women that the self-same MPs voting to cut the abortion limit would prefer not to have children at all - need more time and support to get to the position to have an abortion even when it is clearly the right thing for all concerned. Making that decision harder, more rushed and more complicated does no-one in society any favours.

I'm glad that the limit is staying at 24 weeks...

1 comment:

Ms Heathen said...

I too followed the debate with concern.

Noone has an abortion lightly, particularly not when they are well into their second trimester. The focus among both MPs and the media appeared to be exclusively on the issue of foetal viability; there was precious little acknowledgement of a woman's right to choose what happens to her body.

I'm also glad that the limit is staying at 24 weeks - any reduction would have seemed to me the start of a very slippery slope, as has already been shown in the US.