Local Liberal Democrats have criticised the two Conservative MPs in the New Forest for voting against an amendment to the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, which would have decriminalised consensual abortions in England and Wales.

The bill would decriminalise abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy by removing sections 58 and 59 of the Act which made having, or providing, an abortion a crime punishable by anything up to a life sentence.

Decriminalisation would not lead to any deregulation of abortion care. Services would remain subject to a very significant body of regulation which exceeds that applied to other aspects of healthcare provision.

The bill passed its first reading by 172 votes in favour to 142 votes against.

 

 

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