News: MPs to have free vote on amendments to the Abortion Act 1967

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill will move to the report stage and third reading on 22 October 2008. The Guardian is reporting today that amendments will be debated to remove the requirement that two doctors must approve an abortion, to allow nurses to perform abortions, and to extend the Abortion Act 1967 to Northern Ireland.

More restrictive proposed amendments include a 7 day cooling-off period, a requirement that information about the risks associated with abortion be provided and counselling offered, and the restriction of the fetal disability ground for abortion.

There is also a proposal for a joint Parliamentary committee to review abortion law and practice.

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