Abortion to be reduced to 20 weeks

(506 Posts)
avenueone Tue 02-Oct-12 22:51:00

There is a story on the front page of the Telegraph tomorrow (paper review) saying that in brief due to babies? being able to survive from a younger age it should be reduced.
I personally don't think this is an argument as I doubt they could survive without medical intervention. I feel it is just another attempt to undermine a woman's right to choose what we do with out bodies. Sorry no link but there should be one around tomorrow and I will try and post it.

tilder Wed 03-Oct-12 09:46:52

If they want to change the limit then they need to change the 20 week scan and tests. This info may form the basis of a decision and needs to be available before the abortion limit.

Pyrrah Wed 03-Oct-12 09:52:02

The best change would to bring in abortion on demand up to 12 weeks - make it easily accessible with no waiting times etc (countries like Italy have systems like this).

I doubt there are many doctors who would carry out a 'social' termination after around 16 weeks - even so, I would be okay with a drop to 20 weeks for such reasons.

For abnormalities or risks to the mother's life then it should remain legal till term.

It was also be good if results from amnio could be speeded up in some way so as to avoid causing more distress to families.

ChunkyPickle Wed 03-Oct-12 09:52:30

I do hope all the people that are calling it legal murder give blood regularly, are registered on all live donor organ registers (you have a spare kidney, bits of liver can be donated, bone marrow, even a lung perhaps!) or would be willing to be hooked up to another person for 9 months to share some vital system while the patients recovered.

If not, why not? You could be letting someone die by your in-action.

I am firmly pro-choice. Someone should not be made to jump through hoops, or have vital medical treatment denied because of an arbitrary limit. Someone should not be forced to compromise their own health for another, and all that aside, I don't think that it's necessary. People aborting this late have very, very good reasons for doing so - either mental, or physical, and if you manage to find one person who does it for 'frivolous' reasons then I'm afraid that is better than the alternative.

aufaniae Wed 03-Oct-12 09:58:05

"Additionally i also think when a baby is killed in utero as a result of a violent attack on/murder of their mother the attacker should be tried for murder of the baby too."

This is a very dangerous path to go down.

They've extended murder to cover fetuses in some American states (e.g. Alabama). They said it was to convict men who attacked pregnant women. However of the 300+ people who have been prosecuted under this law, only one has been a man; the law has actually been used to dish out long - often life - sentences for murder, to women who have had miscarriages or stillborn babies.

Article on this: Outcry in America as pregnant women who lose babies face murder charges

It's barbaric.

MrsHardigan Wed 03-Oct-12 09:59:20

Pyrrah What about women who don't find out they're pregnant until after 12 weeks? Victims of domestic abuse, rape and incest who have been prevented from having access to an abortion? Young girls too scared to tell an adult they're pregnant? People with changes in circumstances which means they can't care for a child i.e. loss of a job, homelessness? Is your solution what's best for them? I don't think so.

OptimisticPessimist Wed 03-Oct-12 10:01:42

I was right, Carl Whant was convicted of both child destruction (of the unborn child) and murder (of the pregnant mother) here so women and foetuses in those cases are already covered in law.

OneMoreChap Wed 03-Oct-12 10:02:26

Like most of these things, if your initial reaction is "Oh, that sounds like a good idea" - look at who else supports it.

I used to be a Christian; I opposed women clergy - until I saw who else did, and I ended up supporting a woman to lead our church.

Any reduction in abortion rights plays into the hands of pro-lifers, Catholics, and the US religious right. It's an awful idea.

avenueone Wed 03-Oct-12 10:04:35

The headline does not refelect the actual post - apologies if it mislead, need to go to bed earlier.
Surprised that some didn't see this as it being a feminist issue. If it were men who had the children, I do wonder how the issue would be addressed.
Sorry if it has been mentioned before (to those who posted not again) but not everyone has used the site for a long time.
I agee that it is only in a small number of cases that abortion would take place at this time anyway and that these are not just people waking up one day and changing thier mind but are often due to a range of complex/difficult circumstances. For me, this isn't about just us posting on here and how we see the world and how we behave, it is broader for me and reviews of legislation should take into account the more vunerable people in soceity and a wide variety of circumstances. My fear is that it does chip away at the issue and it gives those who are entitiled to thier religious view another chance to make women feel bad.

MousyMouse Wed 03-Oct-12 10:08:22

I'm on the fence for this one.
on one hand I agree that abortion other than for life threatening conditions (for mother and fetus) should be able to be done until very late in pregnancy. but other abortions should be done as soon as possible.

knowing the nhs and just how long some things take and the need for councelling (the woman has to make a very important life changing decision after all) I think 20 weeks is a bit early. just imagine you have made your mind up and get told 'you are one day over, you have to have this baby'.

OptimisticPessimist Wed 03-Oct-12 10:11:08

I think on the last thread somebody used the phrase "as early as possible, as late as necessary" which describes my feelings exactly. Early termination is obviously physically easier for a woman to go through and recover from than a later procedure, and obviously for many it is easier to cope with mentally.

There are massive problems with access to early abortion, if Maria Miller really cared about making sure termination occurred earlier surely that's the area she'd be focusing on?

TheLaineyWayIsEssex Wed 03-Oct-12 10:11:45

joyful Is it currently legal to terminate at any point a foetus who has cleft lip/palate or club foot? shock

FionaOJ Wed 03-Oct-12 10:12:35

Sorry if this has already been asked, but for those who support abortion to term - if a woman was 30+ weeks pregnant and still undecided whether to have an abortion, or had booked an abortion for the following week, went into labour, or developed pre-eclampsia and needed an emergency c-section, and the baby was delivered alive. What would you want to happen to that unwanted baby? There would have to be systems in place for soon to be aborted babies, that were born alive, before the abortion. Or would you expect the mother to keep the child?

I'm genuinely interested in what you would expect in those circumstances. FWIW I had my daughter at 28 weeks.

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Oct-12 10:19:24

"I would rather 100 abortions happened for "frivolous" reasons than one woman was denied an abortion that she needed."

Absolutely agree.

Having my 3 babies has made me ever more convinced that no woman should be made carry on with a pregnancy against her will.

OptimisticPessimist Wed 03-Oct-12 10:24:01

There are two separate decision process there, the first is whether to continue the pregnancy (which in your scenario can no longer be made - the baby is born) and the second is if the pregnancy is continued (which in your scenario it has to the point of the baby being born), whether to raise the resulting baby or give it for adoption. If the baby has been born the mother can still either decide to keep it or give it up for adoption, the same as after a pregnancy where the mother hadn't intended to abort. I wouldn't think badly of someone who intended to abort but gave birth before it could take place and decided to keep the baby, nor would I if she still felt unable to raise it and decided to give the baby for adoption. I would compare it to surrogacy - before the birth the mother may intend to give it to the intended couple but in law she can change her mind and decide to keep it.

ChunkyPickle Wed 03-Oct-12 10:24:33

Fiona - I would expect the mother to be able to make a choice about what happens to the baby, presumably with a fair bit of counselling.

I'm not sure where you're going with the question.

mcmooncup Wed 03-Oct-12 10:28:16

It works fine as it is as far as I'm concerned.

So, for me, this is just a way to erode women's rights.

There are many other issues the Women's Minister should be tackling as a matter of priority..........but no, it has to be the one area where women are given rights <sigh>

mcmooncup Wed 03-Oct-12 10:31:33

aufaniae that article is shocking.

aufaniae Wed 03-Oct-12 10:43:46

I know sad

I knew things were getting bad in the US, but I didn't realise it had come to this. They've given a 15 year old a life sentence for being addicted to coke and subsequently having a stillborn baby at 36 weeks. They haven't actually proved that the cocaine addiction is what killed the baby (plenty of babies are born to mothers addicted to cocaine).

It seems obvious she's a child herself, in need of some serious help, not criminalising and locking up for life sad

What if it was one of our children?

FionaOJ Wed 03-Oct-12 10:57:24

I was just interested, as someone who has delivered a baby early. If abortions were available for every woman up to term, then sooner or later a woman will deliver a baby that she planned to abort. And I expect that would leave the woman in a very difficult position. I was just wondering what the supporters of term abortions would do/expect to happen next.

Another angle is that if women go into pregnancy thinking they have 40 weeks to have an abortion, then deliver between 26-37 weeks there will be a lot of unwanted babies on SCBU, and a lot of babies going into care or being put up for adoption unnecessarily.

To me it seems to open up a whole new set of problems.

FionaOJ Wed 03-Oct-12 10:59:58

Sorry that should say 23-37 weeks.

OptimisticPessimist Wed 03-Oct-12 11:05:39

But I don't think women would go into pregnancy thinking they have 40 weeks to have an abortion confused given that currently the majority of abortions are carried out early, I see no reason why that would change. I doubt there is a large number of women currently thinking they have 24 weeks to have an abortion, most want it carried out as quickly as possible.

nellyjelly Wed 03-Oct-12 11:08:50

I am a feminist and pro choice but agree 20 wks should be limit. It is not like years ago when women didn't find out they were pregnant for weeks and weeks. The ability for some exceptions should be built in though.

NewNames Wed 03-Oct-12 11:14:22

Fiona The baby could be adopted or fostered or the mother could be supported to keep the child. There are choices. You simply can not compare a foetus on the inside with a baby on the outside.

slug Wed 03-Oct-12 11:22:13

When pregnant with DD I had to have some tests as it was high risk pregnancy. These tests could not be done until 18 weeks. I remember the doctor making the point that if I chose to have the tests done, then the timescale between the test results being returned and the legal deadline for a termination was pretty fine.

Lowering the abortion limit puts women like me with pregnancies like mine into an impossible situation. Do you continue with the pregnancy and hope of the best or live with the knowledge that there is a real chance of giving birth (and possibly dying during it) only to see your child live a short, agonizing life? A fact made all the harder by the knowledge that all of the pain could have been avoided if the govt just respected women's right to know what is best for their own bodies and their own children.

FionaOJ Wed 03-Oct-12 11:24:52

But surely that is the case already, if a woman goes past 24 weeks without being able to have an abortion, for whatever reason, then they still have choices other than abortion.
I am not against abortion, but I think the line should be drawn when a foetus is viable. So 23 weeks max. I can't carry on posting now, but I will come back and read later, I'm not trying to cause an argument, just putting across some possible issues.

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