Debate: Prenatal Diagnosis and Reproductive Choice: Do we need more restrictive legislation?

Grand Committee Room, House of Commons, Westminster / ARC 20th Annual Debate / 22 October 2008 /
Antenatal Results and Choices (ARC) 20th Annual Debate: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill is soon to reach report stage in the House of Commons. The Abortion Law was amended by the HFE Act in 1990 and there is scope for amendments to be made within the new bill. There are currently a number of amendments tabled that seek to restrict parental choice in the context of a prenatal diagnosis of fetal abnormality. The impetus for such amendments comes from a fear that the current law is being misused to enable parents to end pregnancies for what are seen as ‘trivial reasons’ or from the feeling that the clause in the abortion law enabling termination on the grounds of fetal abnormality is discriminatory to people living with disabilities.
This debate aims to bring a range of expert opinion to discuss what is happening in practice and whether any legislative change is necessary. Brief presentations from the speakers will be followed by questions and comments from the floor.

Alastair Kent (Director of GIG)
Dr Lyn Chitty: Senior Lecturer in Genetics and Fetal Medicine at the Institute of Child Health, University of London
Jane Fisher: Director of the charity ARC (Antenatal Results and Choices)
Prof John Wyatt: Professor of Ethics and Perinatology, University of London
Prof Sally Sheldon: Kent Law School, University of Kent

This event is free to attend but prior booking is essential. To book a place please email:
The evening is kindly sponsored by Evan Harris MP.


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