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 Post subject: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:26 am 
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The new health secretary, who is only a few weeks into his job, said he had reached the conclusion after studying the evidence.

"Everyone looks at the evidence and comes to a view about when they think that moment is and my view is that 12 weeks is the right point for it," he told the Times.

"It is just my view about that incredibly difficult question about the moment that we should deem life to start.

"I don't think the reason I have that view is for religious reasons."

Labour's Diane Abbott said ministers should not be "playing politics with people's lives".


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19854465


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:28 am 
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Twelve weeks is really early, considering you count from the first day of the last period! Here in Sweden, it's the woman's own decision up until the end of 18 weeks, and then you need special permission, which you can get on the condition that the fetus isn't viable outside the womb. I.e. if there is some sort of damage that would make it likely the child isn't viable, there is no specific time limit.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:35 am 
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Both Sweden and the proposed UK law would be problematic for me. You have your anatomical ultrasound at 20 weeks because they can't tell any earlier if your baby might be born with structural issues that might leave them viable but still be beyond your ability or desire to care for. I would have terminated a child with any number of physical issues that would have been too hard for me and my husband to pay for with our limited resources and limited support.

8ball wrote:
Labour's Diane Abbott said ministers should not be "playing politics with people's lives".


Maybe its different in the UK, but isn't that what politicians do?

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:58 am 
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8ball wrote:
Quote:
The new health secretary, who is only a few weeks into his job, said he had reached the conclusion after studying the evidence.

"Everyone looks at the evidence and comes to a view about when they think that moment is and my view is that 12 weeks is the right point for it," he told the Times.".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19854465

He's also in favor of homeopathy, so we know how great he is at looking at evidence...

My understanding of Swedish abortion law is that abortion is permitted after 18 weeks if the mother's health is at risk or the child has severe defects.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:51 pm 
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The Minister for Women, Maria Miller, wants to drop the limit to 20 weeks. There's a good article about it here: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/com ... 96103.html

However, on the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning, Theresa May (Home Secretary)did say that the Government has no plans to review the limit.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:01 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
You have your anatomical ultrasound at 20 weeks because they can't tell any earlier if your baby might be born with structural issues that might leave them viable but still be beyond your ability or desire to care for.


Well dropping the limit to 20 weeks or whatever wouldn't affect this. If serious medical issues come to light post the general legal limit then a termination can be carried out.

To be honest 99% of folk I know who are most definitely pro-choice (including me) think the current UK limit is too high.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:39 pm 
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JimXVX wrote:

To be honest 99% of folk I know who are most definitely pro-choice (including me) think the current UK limit is too high.

Well, I'm glad you and your chums aren't in charge of that, then.

And I expected nothing less from 'ol Mr croissant. Researching this, the only thing I was shocked about was finding abortion to be a 'reserved' issue.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:55 pm 
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24 weeks is really late though. A 24 week old fetus is potentially viable outside the womb. I believe a woman has the right to not gestate any fetus inside her womb that she does not want, but once that fetus has the capability of surviving without her womb? Doesn't that seem really different than aborting a fetus that can't live on its own?


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:23 pm 
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That is a shady shady line to wobble along and one which I absolutely disagree with.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:51 pm 
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helbury wrote:
24 weeks is really late though. A 24 week old fetus is potentially viable outside the womb. I believe a woman has the right to not gestate any fetus inside her womb that she does not want, but once that fetus has the capability of surviving without her womb? Doesn't that seem really different than aborting a fetus that can't live on its own?


Nope. The only reason a 24-week fetus could potentially survive outside the womb is because of scientific advancements which preserve life where nature clearly wouldn't (and often resulting in children who are developmentally delayed or deal with lifelong disabilities). Will it seem unreasonable to abort at 12 weeks when fetuses can be entirely gestated outside the womb?

The principle is not affected by scientific development - do women have the choice to decide whether they reproduce or don't they? If we do, there shouldn't be legal time limits to abortion. Late abortions will always be limited by the fact that they are much more medically arduous, very expensive, and that there will likely remain very few providers available, and the fact that women continue pregnancies beyond the first trimester (in the absence of legal and financial restrictions on early abortion) for the most part because they actually want to give birth. Later abortions don't need to be even more limited by legal restrictions which likely have minimal effect on the number of late abortions, but force women and their families to suffer unnecessarily.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:08 pm 
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interrobang?! wrote:
JimXVX wrote:

To be honest 99% of folk I know who are most definitely pro-choice (including me) think the current UK limit is too high.

Well, I'm glad you and your chums aren't in charge of that, then.

And I expected nothing less from 'ol Mr croissant. Researching this, the only thing I was shocked about was finding abortion to be a 'reserved' issue.


Well actually one of the people I'm including here is a well known voice in this area of obstetrics who I just happen to be related to; this person is in favour of a 20 week limit.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:12 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
helbury wrote:
24 weeks is really late though. A 24 week old fetus is potentially viable outside the womb. I believe a woman has the right to not gestate any fetus inside her womb that she does not want, but once that fetus has the capability of surviving without her womb? Doesn't that seem really different than aborting a fetus that can't live on its own?


Nope. The only reason a 24-week fetus could potentially survive outside the womb is because of scientific advancements which preserve life where nature clearly wouldn't (and often resulting in children who are developmentally delayed or deal with lifelong disabilities). Will it seem unreasonable to abort at 12 weeks when fetuses can be entirely gestated outside the womb?

The principle is not affected by scientific development - do women have the choice to decide whether they reproduce or don't they? If we do, there shouldn't be legal time limits to abortion. Late abortions will always be limited by the fact that they are much more medically arduous, very expensive, and that there will likely remain very few providers available, and the fact that women continue pregnancies beyond the first trimester (in the absence of legal and financial restrictions on early abortion) for the most part because they actually want to give birth. Later abortions don't need to be even more limited by legal restrictions which likely have minimal effect on the number of late abortions, but force women and their families to suffer unnecessarily.


Sorry but if we're saying we shouldn't preserve life using modern science when nature wouldn't then that's a pretty slippery slope.

Also, no time limit at all? Really?


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:16 pm 
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When he gets a uterus, he gets a valid opinion. Until then, fork right off.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:30 pm 
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JimXVX wrote:
Sorry but if we're saying we shouldn't preserve life using modern science when nature wouldn't then that's a pretty slippery slope.

Also, no time limit at all? Really?


It's the other direction that's a slippery slope (as I already explained) and I never said what you are saying I've said - try reading again. What I said is that viability is a moving target and should not be our basis for decision making here. Again, the point is "does the woman want to reproduce?" Obviously, we can bring all medical possibilities to bear when a couple has a child who is born early for whatever reason and they want to do everything possible to preserve his or her life, no matter the future challenges.

We should NOT force a woman to have those medical interventions brought to bear on a fetus she does not want to carry anymore for whatever reason. (And by the way, who's taking care of this kid born way before term with unknown disabilities in its future? Who's forcing the woman and her partner now to give up their child for adoption - something she likely does not want to do?) Since, in the absence of legal and financial restrictions to abortion (as I already explained, and you can add social restrictions there too if you like), people do not carry pregnancies toward viability that they don't want to carry. That means when they choose to abort at 24 weeks or even beyond, it's because they have a damn good reason (that is none of our business). There should be no time limit. All time limits have brought women and their families is pain and suffering.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:12 pm 
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JimXVX wrote:
interrobang?! wrote:
JimXVX wrote:

To be honest 99% of folk I know who are most definitely pro-choice (including me) think the current UK limit is too high.

Well, I'm glad you and your chums aren't in charge of that, then.

And I expected nothing less from 'ol Mr croissant. Researching this, the only thing I was shocked about was finding abortion to be a 'reserved' issue.


Well actually one of the people I'm including here is a well known voice in this area of obstetrics who I just happen to be related to; this person is in favour of a 20 week limit.

Well... bully for them! That's nice you have a relative well known in the field of obstetrics. It's also utterly forking meaningless.

And what Ariann said.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:14 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
when they choose to abort at 24 weeks or even beyond, it's because they have a damn good reason (that is none of our business). There should be no time limit. All time limits have brought women and their families is pain and suffering.


This times a billion.

When we say that there should be a time limit, any time limit, we are feeding into the paradigm of women as irresponsible people who need to have their fertility policed by the government, because they cannot do it responsibly themselves. I am unwilling to support seeing women that way.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:17 pm 
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I live in the world of the real so I know that in the grand of US of A, 88% of all abortions are performed in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. So, why do some women wait? The National Abortion Federation says:

Later Abortions

The earlier an abortion is provided the safer it is, because earlier abortions are less complicated. Therefore, it is important that women who decide to get abortions can do so without unnecessary delays. In fact, 88% of all abortions in the United States are obtained within the first 12-13 weeks after the last menstrual period (LMP). Sometimes, however, women have compelling reasons to obtain abortions in later weeks.

Undiagnosed Pregnancy

Some women do not recognize that they are pregnant until the pregnancy is well advanced. Examples might include:

women who menstruate irregularly or not at all due to illness, medication, or strenuous athletic activity;
women who believe their absent periods reflect the onset of menopause;
women with normally light periods, who mistake spotting that occurs in early pregnancy for menstruation;
women who believe they cannot become pregnant because they are nursing babies or undergoing medical treatment;
women whose pregnancies are initially - sometimes repeatedly - misdiagnosed by physicians or other practitioners.

Medical Complications

Like anyone else in the population, pregnant women are susceptible to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, severe depression, addictions, and other serious health problems. Surgery, X-rays, chemotherapy, or other treatment vital to a woman's health or life may come to a halt once the pregnancy is discovered. A woman might choose abortion if a continued pregnancy would worsen her condition and/or threaten her life, or if she requires further treatments that may damage a developing fetus.

Severe Fetal Abnormalities

When a woman learns from the results of prenatal testing that a fetus has severe abnormalities, such as an undeveloped brain, a severe metabolic disorder, or no working kidney, she may wish to end the pregnancy rather than give birth to a child who will suffer and die in infancy or who will have severe disabilities. Unfortunately, the results of amniocentesis, one of the most important prenatal diagnostic tests, are generally not available until the 15th or 16th week of pregnancy, thus delaying the abortion decision.

Tragic Events

A pregnancy may have been planned and very much wanted - until tragedy strikes. For example, the diagnosis of some debilitating disease, a car accident, a job loss, or a natural disaster might lead a woman to decide this is the wrong time to have a baby and to choose abortion, even if the pregnancy has advanced past the first trimester.

Teens at Special Risk

Nearly one-third of all abortions after 12 weeks are obtained by teenagers. Teens face not only state regulatory hurdles, but also delays in recognizing that they are pregnant and taking decisive action. For example, they may:

understand little about how their bodies work and therefore may not recognize signs of pregnancy;
become pregnant before they have begun to menstruate or before their menstrual periods are regular, so they don't have the signal of a missed period; believe a variety of myths, such as "You can't get pregnant the first time"; keep rape or sexual abuse a secret, denying the possibility of pregnancy.

When such young women do realize they are pregnant, they may panic, fearing their parents will never forgive them or that their parents will force them out of the house. They may hide the pregnancy in secret shame, or spend weeks wishing and hoping it isn't true, or that it will go away. Of course, when the pregnancy does not go away, the realities of the situation gradually become evident.

Another factor in teenagers' delay is that few are experienced in using the health care system. They may not know where to go for a pregnancy test, or they may fear that they cannot speak in confidence to a school counselor or nurse for assistance or a referral.

Parental Notification or Consent

Even further delays are introduced by states that require abortion providers to notify or obtain consent from a minor's parents before proceeding with an abortion. While most teens do tell a trusted adult, those faced with an abusive or absent parent are left with only two choices. They must either: petition a state court and convince a judge that they are competent to make this decision or that an abortion is in their best interest; or arrange an abortion in a state without such restrictions, raise extra money, and travel to the out-of-state facility.
Clearly either choice can tax the resources of a teenager, and can create delays that might easily push the abortion past the first trimester.

Lack of Money

In one study of women who were having an abortion at 16 or more weeks, a substantial percentage said the delay occurred because they needed time to raise money.1 Women who depend on the federal government to provide their health insurance coverage must pay for abortion services separately; they may receive Medicaid funding for other medical services, but the federal government and most states have prohibited the use of federal funds to pay for almost all abortions.

In addition, as the pregnancy advances, abortions have a higher risk of complications, require specialized skill from the physician, increased nursing care, and more medications. Therefore, they are more expensive. For a woman who has no savings, gathering enough money can take time and delay her abortion by weeks.

Physician Shortage

Most abortion providers are concentrated in large cities. Today, 88% of all counties in the U.S. have no abortion provider, and 97% of rural counties have none.

In several states, women in need of abortion care must travel hundreds of miles to reach the nearest provider. Women are often delayed many days or weeks as they arrange transportation, time off from work, and save additional money for travel and lodging costs.

Waiting Period Requirements

Some states require women to wait anywhere from 8 to 27 hours between their first appointment and when the abortion procedure can be provided. These laws can further delay the abortion. For example, a teenager may wait for a time when her absence from school will be less obvious. If a woman must schedule two separate appointments, she may face more delays as she arranges for time off work or school to make two long-distance trips.

Third Trimester Abortions

Despite the claims of some anti-abortion activists, women have access to abortion in the third trimester only in extreme circumstances. Fewer than 2% of abortions are provided at 21 weeks or after, and they are extremely rare after 26 weeks of pregnancy. Very few abortions are provided in the third trimester, and they are generally limited to cases of severe fetal abnormalities or situations when the life or health of the pregnant woman is seriously threatened.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:21 pm 
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And those damned ministers in the UK provide the nicest stats. (Seriously, they make research simple)
Let's see what the Media Centre of the Department of Health says about abortion in the UK for 2011:

Quote:
91% of abortions were carried out at under 13 weeks gestation. 78% were at under 10 weeks...


So, we are talking about a small number of cases. I would not presume to tell the women getting the 9% of abortions after 13 weeks that I know what's best for them.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:31 pm 
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Rosie wrote:
When he gets a uterus, he gets a valid opinion. Until then, fork right off.

I will disagree with this because I think that everyone gets to have an opinion about abortion. While women are disproportionately affected, there is no special knowledge or wisdom that comes with a uterus.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:09 pm 
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Vantine wrote:
Rosie wrote:
When he gets a uterus, he gets a valid opinion. Until then, fork right off.

I will disagree with this because I think that everyone gets to have an opinion about abortion. While women are disproportionately affected, there is no special knowledge or wisdom that comes with a uterus.


Also, without checking a sonogram or performing surgery, you don't really know who has a uterus and who doesn't.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:19 pm 
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JimXVX wrote:
Tofulish wrote:
You have your anatomical ultrasound at 20 weeks because they can't tell any earlier if your baby might be born with structural issues that might leave them viable but still be beyond your ability or desire to care for.


Well dropping the limit to 20 weeks or whatever wouldn't affect this. If serious medical issues come to light post the general legal limit then a termination can be carried out.

To be honest 99% of folk I know who are most definitely pro-choice (including me) think the current UK limit is too high.

You're not pro-choice if you think someone shouldn't be allowed to choose abortion. It sounds like you need to reconsider either your stance or the label you choose for it.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:52 pm 
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Jigglypuff wrote:
JimXVX wrote:
To be honest 99% of folk I know who are most definitely pro-choice (including me) think the current UK limit is too high.

You're not pro-choice if you think someone shouldn't be allowed to choose abortion. It sounds like you need to reconsider either your stance or the label you choose for it.


Ayup.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:49 pm 
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choirqueer wrote:
Vantine wrote:
Rosie wrote:
When he gets a uterus, he gets a valid opinion. Until then, fork right off.

I will disagree with this because I think that everyone gets to have an opinion about abortion. While women are disproportionately affected, there is no special knowledge or wisdom that comes with a uterus.


Also, without checking a sonogram or performing surgery, you don't really know who has a uterus and who doesn't.


Men are disproportionately responsible for legislating women's health issues. That needs to change.

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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:55 am 
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JimXVX wrote:
interrobang?! wrote:
JimXVX wrote:

To be honest 99% of folk I know who are most definitely pro-choice (including me) think the current UK limit is too high.

Well, I'm glad you and your chums aren't in charge of that, then.

And I expected nothing less from 'ol Mr croissant. Researching this, the only thing I was shocked about was finding abortion to be a 'reserved' issue.


Well actually one of the people I'm including here is a well known voice in this area of obstetrics who I just happen to be related to; this person is in favour of a 20 week limit.

Just because he's an "authority" on one small aspect of the issue his opinion automatically means more? I used to work in a lab located inside an ob/gyn clinic and I heard stories about certain male doctors being misogynistic crassholes with paternalistic attitudes despite their expertise, whereas others were perfectly nice people. They were clearly all knowledgeable about medicine, but medicine is only one part of the picture. If you're going to play the appeal to authority/numbers card, at least provide some evidence to support your viewpoint.

From the citation in the article Jogirl linked to:

Quote:
Image

Proportion of each outcome by gestational age (22 to 25 weeks) for all babies alive at the onset of labour: former ‘Trent’ health region 1996 to 2000 and 2001 to 2005.


So people are saying that pregnancies at 21 weeks should be carried to term, despite the stats showing that most babies born at 22 weeks tend to die even with medical intervention. Choosing the lowest possible number seems an odd way of defining the limit of "viability". I'm almost willing to bet that a substantial number of people who think the limit is currently too high are basing this on a knee-jerk reaction. It's facile to think that a fetus and a baby of identical gestational age can be directly compared (ref 1, ref 2). Let's not forget the impact of being forced to carry a pregnancy to term on the mother. As others have already pointed out, "viability" is a red herring.


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 Post subject: Re: UK health minister calls for 12 week abortion limit
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:02 am 
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Ariann wrote:
Jigglypuff wrote:
JimXVX wrote:
To be honest 99% of folk I know who are most definitely pro-choice (including me) think the current UK limit is too high.

You're not pro-choice if you think someone shouldn't be allowed to choose abortion. It sounds like you need to reconsider either your stance or the label you choose for it.


Ayup.


Seriously.

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