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PM Hopeful Jeremy Hunt Would Like To Cut Abortion Limit To Just 12 Weeks

PM hopeful Jeremy Hunt has confirmed that he would like to see the legal time limit on abortions reduced from 24 weeks to just 12.

The Foreign Secretary and Conservative leadership candidate has spoken of his views on terminations in the past, and was quizzed on the topic over the weekend by Sky News presenter Sophy Ridge.

When asked if he still stood by his position, he said: "These are matters of conscience, yes, my view hasn't changed on that."


When asked if he could guarantee the time limit for abortion to stay at 24 weeks should he become PM, Hunt said it would be "a matter for the House of Commons," adding: "the Prime Minister will have his view just like every one of the 650 MPs."

He added: "It won't be government policy to have a vote, if backbenchers choose to have a vote then we would have a free vote and everyone would vote with their conscience."

Currently the abortion law in England, Scotland and Wales states that abortions must be carried out before 24 weeks of pregnancy (5.5 months). They can be carried out after 24 weeks in specific circumstances, such as if the mother's life would be at risk or if the child would be born with a severe disability.

Hunt's comments have been met with a huge backlash on social media, and have been branded 'incredibly alarming' by his fellow MPs, including LibDem Christine Jardine who accused him of 'attacking women's rights'.


Labour MP Jess Phillips, tweeted: "Did this one say he was a feminist, it's hard to keep up with whose on drugs and who pretends to care about women.

"Jeremy Hunt how about we base this stuff on evidence and science and keep what you think is best based on no experience out of this."

Another Twitter user said: "So given that the abortions that take place at the upper section of that time limit are usually due to foetal abnormalities like anacephaly, your conscience tells you you should force a woman to carry a child she knows will die during or just after childbirth, does it?"

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Another wrote: "The 24 week statute exists to allow for legal termination in the time foetal abnormalities can be detected (the 20 week scan) and results from any genetic testing/amniocentesis.

"A former Health Sec not knowing that is quite worrying, but not surprising with the Tory record."

The comments come amidst global outrage at new abortion laws in certain US states which make terminations illegal from six weeks of pregnancy.

The state of Alabama now has the strictest laws of abortion, banning it at any state of pregnancy, with those who perform one spending at least 10 years in prison, with 99 years being the maximum sentence.

Abortion is also illegal in Northern Ireland in all cases, including rape, incest or foetal abnormality, but exceptional medical or mental health circumstances.

Featured Image Credit: Sky News

Topics: Life, Life News

Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance journalist working for Pretty 52. After graduating from the University of Sussex, Ciara worked as a writer at GLAMOUR Magazine and later as the Assistant Editor of Yahoo Style UK.

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