31/10/2012 07:39 GMT

Nadine Dorries Told Abortion Counselling Plans Will Be Dropped As She Calls For 20 Week Limit

Nadine Dorries said she was speaking out for the "vulnerable" women "coerced" into abortion as she outlined her plans to reduce Britain's abortion time limit in parliament.

Dorries told MPs on Wednesday she had applied for a separate debate in May 2013 where MPs will be able to vote on the limit, rather than a discussion in Westminster Hall.

"Abortion law needs to be reformed in the UK," she said. "What I want to do is to give pro-choice and pro-life to prepare theirs stalls and ready for a debate."

But during the debate, health minister Anna Soubry announced the government was halting its consultation into implementing independent counselling for women seeking a termination - a change Dorries called for in September 2011.

"I can see no purpose in it because we don't intend to change either the law or the guidance," Soubry told MPs.

During the debate, Dorries also told MPs she was planning to ask the Royal College of Gynaecologist committee "to look again" at the 24 week limit, suggesting "things have progressed."

The Conservative MP repeated the point she made in an interview with The Huffington Post UK where she said "what we need to stop doing is stop trying to save premature babies until they get to 24 weeks gestation."

"Viability is not consistent before 24 weeks. Doctors can't have it both ways," she told MPs.

"My own neighbour of 10 years ago was a 22 week survivor," she claimed.

Addressing those who discuss the women's right to choose, she asked "what about female babies?"

In a passionate riposte, she was told by Labour MP Diane Abbott "it is not right to talk about women being coerced into abortions."

Abbott said the 24-week limit was supported by the Royal College of Gynecologists and the British Medical Association.

"It is not right to denigrate doctors... It is not right to say, as some members have said, that the Royal Colleges are saying these things because they make their money out of abortions," she said.

Responding for the government, health minister Soubry told MPs said she wanted to see fewer abortions through more contraception and better counselling, and stressed that the government had no plans to reduce the limit.