I have received a number of letters regarding a Court ruling on abortion for a lady with learning difficulties.
I completely understand what an incredibly emotive issue this is, and I appreciate the strength of feelings on both sides. It is for this reason that, as with other matters of conscience, the Government adopts a neutral stance on abortion, allowing Conservative MPs to vote freely according to their moral, ethical, or religious beliefs. This is a convention which I support wholeheartedly.
The approach to abortion in Great Britain is set out in the Abortion Act 1967, which states that two doctors must certify that, in their opinion, a request for an abortion meets at least one and the same ground laid out in the Act. These grounds include "risk to the life of the pregnant woman", and "substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped".
I have recently read reports of the case you have outlined. While I appreciate that the specifics of this particular case are very difficult, and it would not be appropriate for me to intervene in the work of judges, I believe it is important that the views of both the clinicians and the individual and their family members should be taken into account in cases like this. I understand that in this case the decision has been overturned, and the pregnancy will not be terminated.