What we need is for abortion to be decriminalised and treated like any other operation: Canada managed this in 1988 without the country falling apart.
No, really, just no. For, as you say:
Since then the second national study of babies born in 2006 has been published and there is no significant change in the number of extremely premature babies surviving. At 22 weeks three babies (1%) survived, one of whom is developing normally at three years, while one is moderately and the other severely handicapped. At 23 weeks 15% survived from the onset of labour and just over half had no disability at three years of age: no better than in 1995.
For there is no other operation performed the intent and purpose of which is to kill what has even just the smallest chance of turning into a hale and hearty human being if the operation is not done.
We\’ve also got some gross, gross, ignorance of the current Act:
Lastly there is the small group of women diagnosed with a congenital abnormality. These represent only 1% of women having a termination, but a quarter of those having abortions at 20 weeks and over. Although the nuchal screening test for Down\’s syndrome is available in most areas now, and allows a termination soon after 13 weeks compared with after 20 weeks when an amniocentesis was needed, other abnormalities are not picked up until the anomaly scan which is done at 18-20 weeks. Women are often devastated to learn that their planned and wanted pregnancy has not developed normally. They need time to come to terms with this and decide whether to continue with the pregnancy or have an abortion. Sometimes more sophisticated ultrasound to look at structural defects in the heart or genetic studies to see if there is a chromosomal abnormality are needed to make a diagnosis so the woman and her partner can make a fully informed decision. This all takes time and rReducing the limit, as David Cameron would like, to 20 or 22 weeks would put more pressure on women and might even increase the rate of abortion at this later stage.
Abortion for reasons of foetal abnormality is not restricted by the 24 week limit. It\’s an obvious breach of the Disabilities Act but there it is. Have a club foot and you can be hoicked out at 36 weeks entirely legally.