The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
New Amendment
Posted Monday, 20 October 2008 at 10:05

Frank Field MP & Nadine Dorries MP Table joint amendment.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill returns to the Commons on Wednesday, amid ferocious arguments and backroom deals.

Neither the Department of Health, No 10, Harriet Harman or the Minister's Office know what is going to happen, or what meaningful discussion can take place in the short amount of time allocated for the 'debate'.

It really beggars belief that the Government ever allowed a Bill discussing such important issues as Embryology and medical research to include the massively emotive issue of abortion – but they did, and some believe deliberately so.

The Government was arrogant in its belief that by drafting the Bill in such a way, it would be able to push through amendments to liberalise our abortion laws.

They hadn’t accounted for a number of things, such as the success of the 20 week campaign and the way it captured the public's attention, or the rapid shift in public opinion towards wanting the upper limit to be reduced.

If we have learnt anything over the last two years, it is that this issue is huge and MPs require more detailed facts and information.

To this end, Frank Field and I have laid down an amendment to Wednesday's Bill calling for a balanced select committee to be established - made up from members of both the Lords and Commons - in order to fully investigate the issue surrounding abortion, and then to report its recommendations and findings back to Parliament.

It is the only logical way forward - if any amendment to abortion is selected and passed on Wednesday, it will be done with inappropriate haste and minimal debate.

It was encouraging on Sunday to see support for the amendment in the Editors' comment sections of the News of The World and the Sunday Telegraph.

What the Government have failed to understand, is that even though there may have been people who disagreed with the 20 week campaign, this doesn’t necessarily mean that those same people wish to see abortion liberalised further, one does not necessarily follow on from the other.

Let's hope common sense prevails and the Speaker calls our amendment for debate, at least this way there can be a full and proper investigation of the issues.

And to those who say there has already been a select committee report - I’ll blog on that later.

Contact Nadine
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
via e-mail at:
or Telephone on 020 7219 5928

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