It has been a busy week on the life-issues front in Parliament, so we wanted to update you.
HUQ CENSORSHIP ZONE AMENDMENT
As you will recall, Rupa Huq MP tabled an amendment to the Public Order Bill that would introduce a jail term of up to two years and/or an unlimited fine for anyone who speaks about abortion to a woman seeking an abortion within 150 metres of every abortion clinic in the country.
This amendment was debated at the final sitting of the Committee Stage of the Bill yesterday.
The good news is that Rupa Huq MP did not take her amendment to a vote and decided to withdraw it. Thank you to everyone who contacted MPs asking them to oppose this amendment.
Unfortunately, Rupa Huq will have an opportunity to re-table her amendment at Report Stage of the Bill, so this is not likely to be the end of this amendment. I’ll be in touch, if she does re-table the amendment, with details on actions you can take to help stop it.
NEW NORTHERN IRELAND ABORTION REGULATIONS
There was a debate in the House of Lords yesterday on the new regulations that give the Northern Ireland Secretary, Brandon Lewis, sweeping new powers to impose expanded abortion access on Northern Ireland. There was a good line-up of Peers who spoke in opposition to them, many of which highlighted the unfairness of the Government’s approach in imposing an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland.
The vote in the House of Commons on the regulations was expected to take place on Monday evening, but the vote was deferred until today.
Sadly, the regulations were approved by MPs by 215:70. Given that the Government had brought them forward, it was expected that they would pass as large numbers of Conservatives would support their own Government’s regulations, but the number of MPs that supported them was far less than in 2021 when similar abortion regulations for Northern Ireland were brought forward. In that vote, 431 MPs supported the regulations, whereas on this vote today, only 215 voted in support.
If you would like to see how your MP voted on these regulations, we have updated our Where Do They Stand e-democracy platform with details on how each MP voted today. You can see how your MP voted by clicking the button below.