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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 October 2012

Politicians line up to attack abortion rights

Defend and extend the right to choose

Elaine Brunskill

Many women will have felt chilled at Jeremy Hunt's comments that he would back the time limit on abortions being halved from 24 to just 12 weeks.

Coming from any politician these comments would be worrying, but as an article in the Mirror points out: "Although the health secretary was expressing a personal view, it carries extra weight because his job puts him in charge of abortion services."

If Hunt's comment was an isolated attack it would be bad enough. However, a momentum is again growing within the ranks of the Tories to push back the right of women to decide when and whether to have children.

Maria Miller, the minister for women, who describes herself as a "very modern feminist" had already thrown her views into the ring, arguing the time limit should be reduced to 20 weeks.

This is the woman whose parliamentary record includes voting to deny lesbians fertility treatment. Her previous role saw her closing Remploy factories, destroying thousands of lives.

Dorries

Nadine Dorries, who waged a high profile anti-choice campaign , '20 reasons for 20 weeks', entered the furore by tweeting: "Maria Miller understands the importance of recognising some women are traumatised by the abortion process, that's real feminism". Dorries is on record as saying her personal preference would be 13 weeks.

Over the weekend David Cameron and home secretary Theresa May stated they favoured a reduction to 20 weeks.

Maria Miller has claimed her views for a limit of 20 weeks are science-based, citing that babies born at 20 weeks are surviving.

However, figures show that only 1% of babies born at 22 weeks gestation survive, and many who do suffer serious disabilities.

In England and Wales the vast majority of abortions take place before ten weeks. However, it is crucial to defend 24 weeks, as many women who seek late abortions are in extremely vulnerable situations, including very young women, who often don't recognise the symptoms and women who are menopausal with irregular periods. Also, some medical conditions cannot be detected before 21 weeks gestation.

Women from many backgrounds, but particularly working class women, understand that safe, free and legal abortion is a life and death issue. Tory cuts in abortion rights would lead to potentially fatal backstreet alternatives.

The Socialist Party will fight to ensure any attempt by Tory politicians to introduce legislation to reduce the time limit to 20 weeks, never mind 12, will be met by mass opposition.

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In The Socialist 10 October 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories promise more pain... Kick out the 'nasty party'!

Labour Party conference - not fighting austerity

Arguing the case for a 24-hour general strike

Birmingham Tory conference demo

'Millions crying out for leadership and for an alternative'

Anti-austerity candidates selected for November contests

No welfare cuts

Health workers must fight attacks on jobs and pay

Politicians line up to attack abortion rights

The hidden homeless - "Sofa surfing is my lot"

Them & Us


Transport feature

Send the transport privatisers packing


International socialist news and analysis

Venezuela presidential election

Greece: escalating the action against austerity

South Africa: 'What are we doing about this government that is killing us?'


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Why we're marching on 20 October

More success for Socialist Students

Save East Midlands ambulances

Campaign Kazakhstan: A musical and political evening

Youth Fight for Jobs and Education fortnight of action 13-27 October

Dewsbury fights health service cuts

Waltham Forest: Parents and staff unite against school sell-off

Sunderland anti-fascists stand up against divisive EDL


Socialist Party workplace news

South Wales bus workers receive strong support for strike

Fighting the construction industry blacklist

Workplace nurseries saved in HMRC

Leeds solidarity with Crossrail battle

Mid Yorkshire Health admin staff ballot for strike

Bin workers' strike threat

Workplace news in brief


Marxism

TV review : Masters of Money - Karl Marx

Marx was right!


 

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Related links:

Abortion:

triangleFighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

triangleTV review: Abortion on Trial - hard-hitting look at impact of 1967 act

triangleThem and us

triangle1967 Abortion Act reflected social changes

triangleCardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

Right to choose:

triangleWeakened Tories forced into Northern Ireland abortion u-turn

triangleThem & Us

triangleIreland: repeal the 8th Amendment!

Women:

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: Fighting for women's rights around the world

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: International Women's Day panel discussion

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: 100 years of votes for women

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