HC Deb 24 February 1966 vol 725 cc131-2W
47 and 48. Mr. Maxwell

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's policy on the reform of the abortion laws so as to authorise the termination of pregnancy following rape, incest or where there is good reason to believe that a deformed child might be born;

(2) if he will introduce legislation to enable general practitioners to recommend abortion for a patient they know will suffer mentally if pregnancy is not terminated.

Miss Bacon

My right hon. Friend has, at present, no plans for Government legislation on this subject. The House will probably have an opportunity to consider these matters in Private Members' time. As the House will know, the Hon. Member for Dorset, West (Mr. Wingfield Digby) has a Bill for Second Reading which is second Order tomorrow.

Mr. Maxwell

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received for a major reform of the abortion laws; and what replies he has sent.

Miss Bacon

My right hon. Friend and his predecessor have both received written representations in favour of a change in the law from 50 bodies and 27 persons, one of whom sent a petition with 34 signatures; and my right hon. Friend's predecessor received a deputation from the Abortion Law Reform Association. All the representations have been noted, and recent replies have drawn attention to the Private Members' Bills on this subject that have been introduced in this House and in another place.