Majority of MPs speak out against enshrining abortion as a human right

29 November 2022

Communications Officer Chris Joyce commends pro-life MPs for being a voice for the voiceless and speaking up for the unborn in a Westminster Hall debate on whether abortion should be a human right.

A large group of MPs has spoken out against enshrining abortion as a human right in the British Bill of Rights.

The three-hour debate took place yesterday after a petition seeking to “include abortion rights in the Bill of Rights” gained the requisite number of signatures to trigger a Westminster Hall debate.

Usually, these debates only raise the profile of their accompanying issue and very rarely result in new laws. However, in this case there is a danger that an amendment enshrining abortion as a human right could become law.

Earlier this month, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab revealed the British Bill of Rights would “return to parliament in the coming weeks.”

While the bill looks unlikely to progress due to a series of bullying claims plaguing Raab, as well as general widespread opposition to the bill, pro-abortion Labour MP Stella Creasy has already declared her intention to bring forward an amendment that would establish abortion as a human right.

Under her extreme proposal, which was spurred by the US Supreme Court’s June ruling that there is no right to abortion, abortion would be fully decriminalised and abortions would be available on-demand and for any reason right up to the point of birth.

The Walthamstow MP has already hijacked the Public Order Bill in a manner that will ban private prayer and offers of support to women outside all UK abortion facilities.

The Public Order Bill is currently at Committee Stage in the House of Lords. Stay updated on this bill, including how you can help protect free speech and offers of pro-life support, by joining out mailing list.

Unsurprisingly, Stella Creasy was present and spoke out vehemently for abortion. Still unsurprisingly, she was in a minority. Pro-life MPs outnumbered pro-abortion MPs in the debate by more than two to one.

Below, we’ve collated some of the best pro-life contributions to the debate.

Undeniable science

Fiona Bruce, who has consistently spoken out for the unborn during her twelve-year stint as MP for Congleton, called for “a culture that upholds and respects life, including unborn life.”

Pointing to the science, she said: “I am so grateful to live in an age where I know there is science behind me to say that a beating heart can be detected at six weeks’ gestation, that the ability to feel pain can be evidenced from as early as 12 weeks, and that the sucking of thumbs can be seen at 15 weeks.

“I stand for the rights of the unborn because it is undeniable that they have life. As the campaign slogan states, ‘Both lives matter.’ Let us develop laws that better protect the life of the unborn child, alongside the lives of women.”

Only 1% support abortion on-demand

Fellow Conservative MP Scott Benton started his speech by stating that the pro-abortion claim that access to abortion is becoming increasingly difficult is false.

He explained: “when you look at the evidence, you find that it has never been easier to access abortion in this country, particularly after the decision to allow medical abortions to happen at home. According to The Times, 1 in 4 pregnancies in Great Britain end in abortion. Last year saw 214,869 abortions in England and Wales in 2021 – the highest number since records began – nearly half of which are repeat abortions.”

Like many others, the Blackpool South MP then went on to challenge claims from the abortion lobby that their relentless efforts to decriminalise abortion are overwhelmingly supported by the public.

“Those who wish, in essence, to decriminalise abortion often make the claim that they have overwhelming public support in their favour, in particular among women. The evidence, however, does not bear that out; in fact, it points in totally the opposite direction. Removing all legal restrictions would risk opening the door to late-term abortions on demand right up until birth and for any reason whatever.

“Polling by Savanta ComRes paints a clear picture of how out of step that is with public opinion: only 1% of women wanted the 24-week gestational time limit to be extended, while 70% favoured a reduction in time limits.”

‘Life is precious’

DUP MP Carla Lockhart, who used her maiden speech to defend the right to life of unborn babies, echoed the comments made by Scott Benton that the abortion lobby “do not speak for all women, and they certainly do not speak for the unborn.”

Pointing to the evidence, the Upper Bann MP said: “… it is important to note the ComRes data… Only 1% of people surveyed want the abortion time limit raised to birth; 70% of women would like the current abortion time limit to be reduced; and 59% of women would like that time limit lowered to 16 weeks.”

Concluding her speech, she added: “Respectfully, I say that behind every abortion, there are two lives: the life of the woman, and the life of the unborn. Unfortunately, the unborn does not have a voice. They cannot speak up for themselves; they cannot articulate the fact that they would choose life—I know the unborn would choose life, because ultimately, life is precious… In every pregnancy, the most basic human right is the right to life.”

Unborn lives matter

DUP MP Jim Shannon explained that polls in Northern Ireland show “…the majority of people are absolutely opposed to abortion on demand and the system of abortion that there is in Northern Ireland at this present time.”

The MP for Strangford went on to outline that he has “received literally hundreds of emails” from his constituents of all ages and political and religious persuasions ahead of the debate on “the importance of speaking up for life, and especially for the lives of both the woman and unborn child.

“These debates always seem to focus… on the rights of the woman, but the rights of the unborn child are disregarded as though they did not matter. I want to put my position on the record: it is important to protect the lives of both the ladies and the unborn child… I will always be a voice for the unborn child.”

He rebutted claims from other MPs that medical professionals overwhelmingly support decriminalising abortion, which would allow for abortion on demand right up to the point of birth. He shared how the Royal College of Midwives support for BPAS’ campaign to decriminalise abortion resulted in significant backlash and protest from over 1,000 midwives.

‘This is the cult of death’

Former Government Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg delivered a sobering speech highlighting the record-breaking and ever-increasing number of abortions taking place in the UK each year, describing the minimum of 214,869 lives lost in 2021 as a “tragedy.”

He said: “It is the great tragedy of abortion in that it is considered normal and that this extraordinarily high number of babies that are destroyed is something that should sadden us all to the depths of our souls… This is about destroying life. This is the cult of death. It is the great tragedy of abortion, and it is considered normal.”

Speaking out against abortion as a human right, the MP for North East Somerset said: “The extraordinarily high number of babies that are destroyed is something that should sadden us all to the depths of our souls. The idea that we would protect something that is so wrong and ignores that second life, and that we should say that it is an absolute right on par with free elections, seems to me to be an absolute tragedy.”

‘No real appetite to make abortion a right’

Like Jacob Rees-Mogg, Sir Edward Leigh lamented the number of abortions that currently take place in the UK.

The Gainsborough MP said that “the current law, as it stands, effectively allows abortion on demand” and as a result we do not need to include it in a Bill of Rights.

“Instead,” he commented, “we need to look at how the state has failed so many women that they feel abortion is the only option available to them, and to look at alternative modes of support.

“There is no real appetite to make abortion a right, aside from a vocal minority and various lobby groups, including the abortion providers themselves.”

‘There is another life involved in the question of abortion’

Labour MP Mary Glindon revealed how a number of her constituents were “concerned” that enshrining abortion in the British Bill of Rights would lead to abortion up to birth.

She further noted that 80% of women actually want the time limit reduced, and lamented the lack of aftercare, particularly mental health care, for women who have had an abortion.

Conservative MP Sir Desmond Swayne, who has a very strong pro-life voting record, argued that abortion should be constrained by proper parliamentary legislation as “there is another life involved in the question of abortion.”

DUP MP Ian Paisley highlighted that abortion legislation is already extreme, allowing for abortion up to six months says it is “wrong” that people, like Stella Creasy, want to “drive it even further to the point of birth.”

The North Antrim MP added: “there are two sets of DNA, two bloodstreams, two lives and two heartbeats. It is more than just the woman’s body.

“While I accept that women have a very difficult choice to make and are sometimes put in a horrible position by irresponsible and selfish men, women are sometimes talked out of the choice to protect a life. I have seen and heard it, and I want to make sure that there is a choice to allow the life to flourish and to grow, and that there are other opportunities beyond the womb. That is something that we should of course be dwelling on.”

Thank an MP

Do consider encouraging one of these pro-life MPs for speaking out in defence of the unborn by sending them a short thank you message.

Even if they’re not your MP, they will likely be heartened and motivated by the support you show them.

You can find the contact details for all sitting MPs here.

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