Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Politics gets it right

This week our UK Parliament has been debating the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. The bill is wide ranging and could have meant the reduction of the abortion limit from 24 weeks to 12, a ban on human / animal hybrid embryo research and the requirement to consider the need for a father in fertility treatment - effectively banning same sex parenting.

The house has voted in the following ways;

A rejection of the reduction of abortion limit
by 332 votes to 190.

A rejection to require consideration of the need for a father in fertilisation treatment
by 290 votes to 222.

A backing of hybrid embryo research by 336 votes to 176.

It makes me happy to see evidence and rationality take precedence over superstition and brittle, religious morality.

Perhaps there is hope for us all.


Christy Lenzi said...

I can understand your relief at these. But when I read abortion at 6 months, I admit I was a little nauseated. When I was pregnant at 6 months, my kids were the size of many healthy babies at birth(I had big babies.) It sent shivers up my spine to think of a six month abortion. That's got to be kind of a gruesome thing. Why would someone wait that long?

jamon said...

I share your feelings about a six month abortion however, according to the evidence (MInd, I'm no pediatrician), the viability of foetuses under 24 weeks is still very low.

In 1990 our Parliment voted to reduce the limit from 28 weeks for this very reason, though outcomes for babies under 24 weeks have not improved significantly since.

Apparently, the vast majority of abortions take place within the first 12 weeks. Something like less than .5% of abortions occur 20-24 wks into pregnancy.

I can't imagine any woman making such a decision at 20wks+ lightly. I'd hope there would be some pretty compelling reasons in most cases.

Though from a personal point of view, I concur with you as it makes me shiver and balk to think of such a thing happening.

Doesn't stop me appreciating the evidence that goes against my parentally guided gut feelings though.

Christy Lenzi said...

I haven't looked into the findings, so I'm fairly ignorant about it. Sounds like it sure is drawing the line close, though, isn't it.

Thanks for posting this--interesting things happening.

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