Government rules out extra abortion rights protections after Roe v Wade decision

Dominic Raab

The deputy PM was asked about adding the right to choose into his proposed Bill of Rights (Picture: Getty/AFP)

Dominic Raab has ruled out creating a new layer of protection for abortion rights in the UK.

The deputy prime minister and justice secretary said he would not add a proposed amendment to the legislation he is pushing through the Commons.

Some MPs have called for a change enshrining the right to choose following the overturning of Roe v Wade in the US.

Labour’s Stella Creasy said she would formally table the amendment to the British Bill of Rights.

Mr Raab was asked about the move by another Labour MP, Rosie Duffield, when he stood in for Boris Johnson at Prime Minister’s Question.

He said: ‘The position, as she knows, is settled in UK law in relation to abortion.

‘It’s decided by honourable members across this House. It’s an issue of conscience. I don’t think there is a strong case for change.

‘What I wouldn’t want to do is find ourselves, with the greatest of respect, in the US position where this is being litigated through the courts rather than settled as it is now settled by honourable members in this House.’

Ms Creasy tweeted afterwards: ‘Why is the Bill of Rights good enough to protect your freedom of speech but not your womb from being interfered with?’

Protests have broken out across America following the Supreme Court’s decision (Picture: Getty)

The Supreme Court’s move to scrap the US-wide protection for aborition access is expected to lead to around half of states banning it altogether.

While abortion is legal in the UK, it is only enshrined constitutionally in Northern Ireland as the rest of the country doesn’t have a written constitution.

Labour former minister Dame Diana Johnson said she feared far-right American groups wanting to roll back UK abortion protections will be given ‘renewed impetus’ by the US move.

There have been renewed calls for ‘buffer zones’ to be introduced around abortion clinics to prevent protests in recent days.

Speaking at the G7 summit earlier this week, Mr Johnson was asked about the court’s decision on CNN.

Roe v Wade has ensured abortion rights across the US for decades but will no longer (Picture: AFP)

He said: ‘I want to stress that this is not our court, it’s not our jurisdiction.

‘So in a sense anything I say, it’s for the United States, it’s not for the UK.

‘But the Roe v Wade judgment, when it came out, was of huge importance psychologically for people around the world, and it spoke of the advancement of the rights of women, I think.

‘And I regret what seems to me to be a backward step. But, you know, I’m speaking as someone looking in from the outside.’

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Source:: Metro


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