Posted in Inherently Brief, tagged A v A, abortion, Abortion time limits, Birmingham City Council, Child residency order, childbirth statistics, Cohabitation, Cornton Vale, Dame Elish, domestic violence, equal pay, Families and Households 2012, female prisons, Gay conversion therapy, gay rights, Gender equality, Habitual residency, Jeremy Hunt, Maria Miller, Marie Stopes, Mercredi v Chaffe, Northern Ireland, ONS family study, parenthood, Pro-life protests, Saudi Arabia, The family home on November 7, 2012|
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In our first post in the new academic year, a number of contributors have gathered a string of scintillating stories from across the country and around the world.
On time limits…
Maria Miller, the Conservative minister for women’s issues and equality as well as secretary of state for culture, media and sport, has recently voiced her support for a reduction of the legal limit for abortions, from 24 weeks to 20 weeks. She cites advances in medical technology to support her opinion, arguing “what we are trying to do here is not to put obstacles in people’s way but to reflect the way medical science has moved on”. Many have objected to Miller’s argument that many more babies are surviving at 24 weeks or below, pointing, for example, to statistics from the Office of National Statistics in 2010 which showed that only 12% of babies born before 24 weeks lived for at least a year.
Miller’s statement has worried many pro-choice activists. Darinka Aleksic, the campaign co-ordinator for Abortion Rights, said: “The fact that the minister responsible for women and equalities wants to restrict access to abortion, one of the most important women’s health services, is really alarming.” Meanwhile, Jeremy Hunt the recently appointed Health minister, called for the legal abortion limit to be halved. Many are wondering whether the government will soon make changes, despite David Cameron’s repeated statements that he has no plans to review the abortion laws.
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The voluntary organisation Surrogacy UK reports that there have been over 700 successful surrogacy births since 1985 and is a popular reproductive method within the ever growing realm of assisted reproduction. As described by the Warnock Report (1984) surrogacy is ‘a practice whereby one woman carries a child for another with the intention that the child should be handed over after birth.’ From the case of Baby Cotton in 1985 to recent celebrity surrogacy arrangements, surrogacy continues to inspire controversy – it is therefore unfortunate that the practice of surrogacy fails to provoke legislative concern. (more…)
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