Nadine Dorries Secures Abortion Time Limits Debate On Halloween

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Nadine Dorries will face off with Diane Abbott in a Halloween showdown over abortion limits, it emerged on Wednesday.

The backbench Conservative MP has secured a debate on reducing the abortion time limit from 24 to 20 weeks in parliament's Westminster Hall on 31 October. It is not yet clear who will respond for the government.

In an forthcoming interview with The Huffington Post UK Dorries says she plans to form a "grassroots" campaign to support a reduction in the abortion time limit.

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Nadine Dorries will face off with Diane Abbott in a Halloween showdown over abortion limits

The news of the debate comes as figures released by the department of health demonstrate a year on year fall in the number of abortions after 12 weeks since 2008.

Figures show that last year, 173,176 abortions took place under 13 weeks, whilst just 16,755 took place at 13 weeks and over. Since 2008, the number of abortion taking place at 13 weeks and over has fallen steadily year on year to 16,755, from 18,990.

Abbott told The Huffington Post UK the figures told their "own story" in the wake of health secretary Jeremy Hunt backing a reduction of the abortion time limits to 12 weeks.

"It’s becoming clear that Jeremy Hunt’s wild attack on British women's right to choose was not based on the figures, the medical evidence, or on any real understanding of women’s lives," she said.

"Unfortunately, what Jeremy Hunt has done is unlock the door to the right-wing of the Tory party to begin a campaign in parliament to reduce the time limits, and also offer a supporting hand to anti-choice campaigners who protest, shout, and host vigils outside clinics, as women enter."

In a blog for The Huffington Post UK, Clare Murphy, Director of External Affairs at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, Britain's biggest abortion provider said if Dorries were really "pro-woman" she could focus on access to contraception, miscarriage management, improving access to early abortion or protesting cuts to midwives.

"There is no need to revisit this issue: but the tragedy is that the energy spent discussing it detracts time and attention from genuine problems in women's reproductive healthcare," she wrote.

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