A colleague has just informed me that Nadine Dorries MP has again used the HFE Bill to table another amendment to the Abortion Act to restrict access by lowering the time limit to twenty weeks from twenty-four.
The Bill has finished its second reading and is awaiting a date for the Report Stage. Evan Harris MP has tabled two amendments to expand abortion rights and my colleague believes that Nadine Dorries has issued her amendment as a reaction to force another debate at the third reading of the Bill.
While the Commons would likely try to dismiss her amendment as it has already voted on it, we could face a situation where the House of Lords says that another debate is warranted because the issue is not resolved, sending the Bill back to the Commons. If it gets to the point where the two Houses start to ping-pong, each sending the Bill back to the other, the Bill schedule could be disrupted. If this happens, the whole Bill would be at risk and everything that has already been agreed could be undermined.
It all seems very unlikely to me, but I don’t know enough about it. Do others?
Progress of Bill dates here.