Survey prompts calls for abortion restrictions

Deary me. Today is not a good day for statistics. After learning that nearly half of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals fear to tell their co-workers about their sexuality, and that most men don’t want to go out with a funny woman, the Observer tells us that 47% of women think the time-limit on abortions should be shortened.

You can read the report here. When I read about this type of thing, I try and remind myself that a majority of Britons also think the death penalty should be reintroduced.

At the moment, women can access abortion up until 24 weeks but only around 1.5% of terminations are carried out after 20 weeks.

We can take heart that the Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, does not seem to support a change in the law. She told the Observer: “I think it is very difficult for a woman contemplating a late termination and they need to be given very clear advice and support.”

Toni Belfield of the Family Planning Association, said: “The argument about medical advances misses the point. There needs to be access to late abortion after 20 weeks because a woman may not find out she is pregnant until 18 or 19 weeks, or be in a non-consensual relationship, or be told about a foetal abnormality.”

Anyone who might have been softening on the Tories since they elected David Cameron as leader might like to know he personally supports a reduction to between 20 and 22 weeks. Let’s fervantly hope that this is not a sign that abortion rights in the UK will become the battleground they are in the US.