Sir John Hayes calls for UK abortion debate after Roe vs Wade international headlines
Our area’s MP feels it is now time for a debate on abortion - with the issue thrown into the spotlight after a high-profile US court decision.
Sir John Hayes is a vice-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group at Westminster - and says it’s an issue he has been passionate about since he was 15.
The issue has hit the headlines after the US Supreme Court voted to overturn the ‘Roe vs Wade’ ruling - a case that had given women right to an abortion.
Sir John said: “I do think we need a grown up debate in our country about the sanctity of life. I do think the view that life is disposable is not acceptable from a Christian point of view.
“I have got a very, very long standing involvement and commitment to this, borne of Christianity of the character and sanctity of life.”
He said he is not a ‘purist’ - and feels abortions are justified in some cases.
The South Holland and the Deepings MP said: “I think there are circumstances where it can be justified - the obvious example is where the mother’s life is at risk and there are others.
“I think the time limit needs to be reassessed given the technology now and what we know about foetal survival.
“I think the advice women get needs to be improved.”
When asked for his views on the calls for women to have the total right to decide on what happens with their bodies, Sir John said: “This is a separate body, this is a separate human life. It’s about the sanctity of life.”
The MP says he wants to ensure babies with conditions such as cleft palate and club foot are not aborted for that reason.
He guarded against people seeing direct parallels with the US - saying there are ‘fundamental differences’ between our countries and that social media gives a ‘bogus sense’ that things happening there are more relevant here than they are.
Most abortions in this country are carried out before 24 weeks of pregnancy - but can be conducted after this in some circumstances.
Sir John said he does not have a view on what the limit should be - only that it should be debated.
The all-party parliamentary group also discusses euthanasia and ‘research upon the human embryo’.
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