Page 1, 30th December 1977

30th December 1977
Page 1
Page 1, 30th December 1977 — MPs back Herald on abortion plan 'leak'

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Locations: Milan, Birmingham


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MPs back Herald on abortion plan 'leak'

MR CALLAGHAN, the Prime Minister, and Mr Roy Jenkins, the EEC President, are to be asked about a Catholic Herald story two weeks ago stating that the EEC was considering abortion on demand for up to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

The EEC subsequently denied the story, but this week two MPs said that they knew the source of the Catholic Herald story and confirmed that it was reliable.

Mr Keith Stainton, Conservative MP for Sudbury and Woodbridge, intends to ask Mr Callaghan and Mr Jenkins whether the EEC has the power or the intention to proceed as suggested.

He said he would also ask whether such legislation, if passed, would affect a member country's domestic legislation.

Any British representatives to the EEC should report in full any moves to introduce such laws, he said.

Mrs Jill Knight, Conservative MP for Birmingham, Edgbaston, who also said that the story came from a reliable source, said: "It has been our sad experience that abortion legislation is kept very quiet until it is almost out."

Any suggestion that the Community should make laws regarding abortion must be fought vigorously at the outset, she added.

The news of an alleged plan prompted a meeting of pro-life representatives from seven European nations in Milan earlier this month. They formed a European Right-To-Life Federation. The pro-life representatives from Italy, Britain, France.

West Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Holland also approved a "Charter for the Right to Life of an Unborn Child" which has been presented to Mr Emilio Colom bo, president of the European Parliament, and to the United Nations.

The charter, which bases itself on the Universal Declara tion of Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child, calls on all countries to ban scientific experiments on the unborn foetus unless the experiments are "in the direct interest of the mother and child".

The charter calls on European governments, local authorities and individuals to introduce and uphold legislation which ensures that from the moment of conception, the unborn child is entitled to legal protection.

It also demands that social reforms should be introduced to ensure that both the baby and the mother receive adequate support.

The pro-life conference was organised by Movimeeto Per La Vita, the Italian Pro-life group which is opposing the liberalis

ed Abortion Bill expected to go through the Italian parliament within the next few months.

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