Rights of the Unborn in the UK and EU

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Abortion is an important issue in the UK. Teenage pregnancy rates in Britain reached 41.5 per 1,000 girls age 15-17 in 2006 the Guardian reported. Of those pregnancies, 46 percent ended in abortion. The Morning After Pill was made accessible to girls as young as 12 in over the counter sales, as well as a government decision to reduce sales tax on the drug.


Abortion of up to 24 weeks is allowed if there is a substantial risk that the child when born would suffer "such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped. The second condition is that an abortion must be agreed by two doctors and carried out by a doctor in a government-approved hospital or clinic.
The right to life of the unborn was historically protected by British laws on abortion. The English common law did not prosecute for abortions performed before quickening. In 1803, with Lord Ellenborough's Act, Parliament enacted statutes overriding this relatively lenient stance (Potts Diggory, and Peel 1977). In 1861 Parliament passed the Offences against the Person Act. Section 58 of the Act made abortion a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment from three years to life even when performed for medical reasons. Two laws, the Infant Life Preservation Act 1929 and Abortion Act of 1967 provided the exceptions to this 1861 Act. In 1929, the Infant Life Preservation Act amended the law stating it would no longer be regarded as a felony if abortion was carried out in good faith for the sole purpose of preserving the life of the mother. ...
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