Nadine Dorries reiterates call for Britain’s abortion limit to be reduced to 20 weeks


Ex-nurse Nadine Dorries calls for Britain’s abortion limit to be reduced by four weeks to 20 weeks – but insists the procedure should remain freely available

  • Nadine Dorries calls for Britain’s abortion limit to be reduced to 20 weeks
  • Former nurse and health minister said she saw the issue of ‘botched abortions’
  • But she remains ‘pro-choice’ and blasted fellow MP Danny Kruger’s stance
  • Her comments come just weeks after Roe v Wade was historically overturned 

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has reiterated her desire to see Britain’s abortion limit reduced by four weeks as she further rowed into the controversial debate. 

Ms Dorries, a former nurse, suggested ’20 weeks is where it should be’ after she described the current length of time for when most women can have an abortion as ‘too high’.

Having claimed to have seen the issue of ‘botched abortions’ in her own time working within the medical industry, Ms Dorries has previously led parliamentary calls to scrap the 24-week abortion cut-off point.

However the Culture Secretary, who has campaigned on the matter in the House of Commons for more than 11 years, insisted she was pro-choice and would not push for rules to be changed, reports the Times.

Her comments come just weeks after Roe v Wade was historically overturned by the US Supreme Court, prompting dozens of American states to introduce new laws to jettison the procedure.

Ms Dorries said she ‘understood’ the concerns that women may have in the wake of the ruling, and insisted she did not think Britain would ever follow suit.

‘I understand how many women would feel worried that, you know, “is this gonna land on our shores?’, Ms Dorries said.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has reiterated her desire to see Britain's abortion limit reduced by four weeks as she further rowed into the controversial debate

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has reiterated her desire to see Britain’s abortion limit reduced by four weeks as she further rowed into the controversial debate

Current NHS guidance for pregnant women expected to give birth prematurely states 'babies born earlier than 22 weeks are not currently able to survive even if doctors try to save them'. [File image]

Current NHS guidance for pregnant women expected to give birth prematurely states ‘babies born earlier than 22 weeks are not currently able to survive even if doctors try to save them’. [File image]

Current NHS guidance for pregnant women expected to give birth prematurely states ‘babies born earlier than 22 weeks are not currently able to survive even if doctors try to save them’. 

Although Ms Dorries believes the limit should be reduced, she said now was not the time to revisit prior parliamentary battles and said she felt the issue had been ‘settled’ within her party. 

‘It’s not an issue in the UK’, the Times reported her as saying.

‘We just have far too much going on at the moment, with the cost of living crisis, and a war in Ukraine, and Russia an aggressor in Europe now. I can’t get enough parliamentary time to get the bills that I want to get through in my department.’ 

Ms Dorries, who has also previously served as health minister, reiterated her call for the need for two doctors to sign off on the procedure to be scrapped.

‘It should just be that if someone wants an abortion, they should just be able to get one. 

‘And the Conservative Party position is that it’s a free choice issue, we’re settled on this, it’s where it is, it isn’t going to change. 

‘The impact of going back to the dark days of underground back street abortionists is a spectre too horrible to contemplate. It isn’t going to happen in the UK.’

And she blasted the comments of her now ex-colleague Danny Kruger, who previously sparked outrage when he argued women did not have an ‘absolute right to bodily autonomy’.

‘I am absolutely, utterly, unequivocally pro-choice,’ Ms Dorries responded.

Tory MP Danny Kruger today said today he doesn't agree women have 'an absolute right to bodily autonomy' in a debate over the American abortion ban

Tory MP Danny Kruger today said today he doesn’t agree women have ‘an absolute right to bodily autonomy’ in a debate over the American abortion ban

Abortion rights supporters march past City Hall in Los Angeles, while protesting against the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to end federal abortion rights protections

Abortion rights supporters march past City Hall in Los Angeles, while protesting against the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to end federal abortion rights protections

‘I think abortion for women should be available on demand, no need for two doctors’ signatures, that they should just be, if that’s the decision they want to make, they should be trusted to make that decision.’

Tory MP Lucy Allan Well for Telford also showed her opposition to Mr Kruger’s views and tweeted this evening that he has ‘no right to impose his views on others’.

She wrote: ‘We are going to disagree on this – I accept Danny’s right to disagree, but he no has no right to impose his views on others.

‘Do men have a right to bodily autonomy? Is it just women who do not have that right?’

Meanwhile, Conservative former minister Jackie Doyle-Price told the Commons: ‘Can I just say to the minister that we are in no stronger position to lecture the United States about this because we have done much the same ourselves.

‘Is it not time we led by example and reviewed our abortion laws which are now more than 50 years old and base them around a safe framework for terminating pregnancy in the interests of women, rather than be characterised by these absurd moral extremes?’

In 2010, Ms Dorries headed up a cross-party group of MPs aiming to cut the 24-week abortion rule before the bid fell when put to vote in the House of Commons.

Under the 1967 Abortion Act, women are granted exceptions to seek an abortion if two doctors agree to the procedure.

Early termination is permitted up until 23 weeks and six days of pregnancy should the reproductive process pose risk to the physical or mental health of the woman or her children.

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