David Cameron has 'no plans' to cut legal abortion limit down to 12 weeks
The government has 'no plans' to change laws governing the abortion limit, despite Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt voicing his regressive opinion on the sensitive issue.
Prime Minister David Cameron has spoken on the issue after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s controversial interview with The Times newspaper last week.
Hunt had expressed that he personally backs halving the legal time limit for women to have abortions, from 24 weeks to 12.
The 24-week limit currently applies to England, Wales and Scotland, although 91% of abortions take place before 12 weeks.
David Cameron said Mr Hunt was "entitled to hold an individual view", but insisted it was not government policy in an attempt to allay fears that abortion laws are set to come under renewed assault.
However, Cameron went on to say that he "personally" favoured a "modest reduction" from the current limit of 24 weeks, "because I think there are some medical arguments for that".
In light of these opinions surfacing, health experts have warned that a cut-off for terminations at 12 weeks would curtail testing for conditions such as Down's syndrome and may rush women into having abortions they might come to regret.
Responding to these comments, Home Secretary Theresa May also told the BBC she "probably" backed the more modest change of a 20-week limit, but also said that it was a personal view.
This said, Anthony Ozimic, from anti-abortion campaigners the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, believes that any new backbench bill on the topic was certain to fail.
"There is a large pro-abortion majority in Parliament which will ensure that any time-limiting amendments are rejected while using the opportunity to push for pro-abortion amendments," he said.
Campaigners for Women’s rights continue to express their shock and concern at Hunt’s interview. Gynaecologist Professor Wendy Savage expressed great concern over the possible re-opening of a debate which was defeated the last time it came to Parliament in 2008.
"I think the majority of the population think that if somebody has got a foetus that, if born, will have a severe disability they should have the right to choose whether or not to continue with that pregnancy", she said.