HC Deb 23 January 1989 vol 145 cc684-5
33. Mr. Ken Hargreaves

To ask the Attorney-General how many prosecutions were brought by the Crown Prosecutions Service under the Infant Life Preservation Act 1929 in 1988 and if he will make a statement.

The Solicitor-General

None, Sir.

Mr. Hargreaves

May I suggest that the Infant Life Preservation Act is not being implemented? As it gives no protection to children capable of being born alive or, for that matter, to babies being born alive and left to die, would it not be better to repeal it?

The Solicitor-General

My hon. Friend probably misunderstands the requirements of the Infant Life Preservation Act. The case that he has in mind was carefully looked into and it is clear that there was no evidence on which anybody could have been charged. The Act could, nevertheless, be helpful in appropriate circumstances.

Miss Widdecombe

Bearing in mind that the Carlisle baby was born alive, are we to assume that the Infant Life Preservation Act not only fails to give coverage to those capable of being born alive but gives no recourse in law to the parents of a child born alive but allowed to die?

The Solicitor-General

Once again, I think that my hon. Friend does not appreciate the ingredients of the Act, but I should be happy to discuss them with her, in private.