HC Deb 03 May 1985 vol 78 cc535-6 9.35 am
Ms. Jo Richardson (Barking)

I have the honour to present a petition containing well over 7,000 signatures of United Kingdom residents who oppose the Unborn Children (Protection) Bill that we are to discuss today. The signatories are from all parts of the country—north, south, east and west. That is why I have been asked to present the petition rather than divide it between individual Members of Parliament.

The majority of the signatories are women who object to the Bill because they believe that it pre-empts consideration of the Warnock report; that it discriminates against women; that it brings the state into an area of private life by requiring a woman to be specified to the Secretary of State; that it severely restricts the use of fertilised embryos; that it damages research into infertility, the causes of handicap, gene defects and the treatment of infertility; and that it opens the way to attacks on the abortion law and the use of some forms of contraception.

The petitioners hope and pray that Parliament will take serious note of their very strong opposition.

To lie upon the Table.


Mr. Peter Thurnham (Bolton, North-East)

I have the honour to present a petition from 337 residents in the north-west of England who oppose the Unborn Children (Protection) Bill and pray that it does not receive a Third Reading.

Under the heading "No to Powell" it sheweth That Mr. Enoch Powell's Unborn Children (Protection) Bill will have adverse effects by preventing research, and increasing the bureaucracy involved, in 'In Vitro Fertilisation'. Wherefore your Petitioners pray that the Bill be not given a Third Reading. And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

To lie upon the Table.

Mr. Alfred Dubs (Battersea)

I wish to present a petition on behalf of the residents of my constituency of Battersea and of other parts of the United Kingdom.

The petition sheweth That the Unborn Children (Protection) Bill will, if enacted, severely damage the treatment of infertile women, prevent much-needed research, encroach upon patient confidentiality and give legal protection to the embryo, wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House vote against the Unborn Children (Protection) Bill at Third Reading, realising that it pre-empts a proper consideration of the Warnock Report; by charging for application for a named woman to be treated for infertility by in vitro fertilisation it discriminates against poor women and brings the State into an area of private life; by severely restricting the use of fertilised embryos it damages research into infertility, causes of handicap, contraception, gene defects and treatment of infertility; by giving the embryo legal protection it accepts the view of a minority of the population and opens the way to an attack on abortion and the use of some forms of contraception. I wish to associate myself with this petition.

To lie upon the Table.