It’s time limit time again
Ministers have been quick to point out that they are expressing their personal views, and to stress that there are no government plans for legislation on the time limit. But Jeremy Hunt is ultimately responsible for all the UK’s abortion services and Miller is supposed to be the voice of women in government. Their views carry weight and when they fail to support access to a key women’s health service it is cause for real concern. Most of our readers will already know that the new medical evidence cited by ministers to support their desired time limit reduction does not exist. The current arrangements are supported by the UK’s major medical bodies and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has issued a statement emphasising the importance of retaining the 24 week limit. What this episode tells us though, is that restricting abortion via a cut in the time limit is back on the table in a major way. There may be no immediate plans to change the law, but it is highly likely that there will be an attempt to cut the limit before the next general election in 2015. It also tells us that if ministers think that there is any sort of consensus on the need to reduce the time limit or that they can do without much fuss, then they are seriously underestimating the extent of pro-choice feeling in this country. Their comments have caused lasting outrage. Abortion Rights saw a huge jump in twitter followers and an influx of new members following Hunt’s comments. We’ll need their support – and yours – to help us win the coming fight. So if you’re not already a member, please make sure you join or donate to Abortion Rights today.