The government's new women's minister, Maria Miller, has called for a reduction in the abortiontime limit from 24 to 20 weeks. Mrs Miller has told the Daily Telegraph thatthe limit should come down to "reflect the way medical science has moved on" in the care of premature babies, and because she was "driven by that very practical impact that late-term abortion has on women".
In response to Mrs Miller's comment, bpas chief executive Ann Furedi said:
"Scientific evidence does not show that survival rates before 24 weeks have improved in recent years, as the minister seems to believe. But it is also important for a women's minister to recognise that every year a small number of women in often very difficult and unenviable circumstances will need to end a pregnancy after 20 weeks. Mrs Miller says she is driven by the impact abortion has on women.Staff at bpas would be extremely pleased to meet her and explain to her exactly what impact restricting abortion would have on the women we care for and their families."