Thursday 17 Mar 2022
During last night’s late night sitting in the House of Lords, running beyond 2am, peers voted to allow women to continue to access abortion services at home. Prior to Covid, women were required to attend a clinic in person to access abortion pills. But since then, they have been able to receive the pills by post. The UK Government recently announced it intended to withdraw this service in England from August, but the Lords have now voted in favour of keeping it. Humanists UK, which has repeatedly called on the Government to make these measures permanent, said it was delighted by the news. It has urged the Commons to not overturn the Lords’ vote.
The vote happened during the Report Stage of the Government’s Health and Care Bill. The abortion amendment, tabled by Conservative Peer Baroness Sugg, was passed by 75 votes to 35. Humanists UK briefed peers in support of the amendment. Three members of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) spoke for it, with many more voting in favour.