Residents vocal over minister’s abortion comments


Controversial abortion comments made by an MP got Wimbledon residents talking today.


By Tom Ambrose, Kitty Dann, Tom Goulding and Hana Hausmeister

Controversial abortion comments made by an MP got Wimbledon residents talking today.

Maria Miller, Minister for Women and Equality, provoked a media storm after telling a national newspaper that reducing the current legal limit from 24 to 20 weeks would be common sense.

Her views were not echoed on the streets of Wimbledon, with many saying they think it should stay at the current 24 week limit.

Emma Cannon, a 24-year-old student, said: “I am pro-choice, although the later it is left, the more tricky it is.

“Of course, if anybody is considering abortion, it is best to do it as early as possible.”

Ben Pamettiere, 26, of Raynes Park, shared her opinion, saying that he disagrees with lowering the limit.

He added: “It means there are less options for girls. As far as I’m concerned, they should have a choice.”

Health authority statistics show that 1,737 abortions were carried out in Sutton and Merton in 2011.

Last year, 196,082 abortions were performed across England and Wales, but only 1.4% of terminations came in or after the twentieth week.

However, Mrs Miller’s comments did receive some positive feedback.

Ruth Laskary, a 59-year-old hairdresser from The Broadway, agreed, saying that the sooner an abortion is carried out, the better.

She added: “Speaking from a humane point of view, when the child is not that formed, you aren’t a ‘murderer’.”

In 2008, Mrs Miller voted to reduce the legal limit for abortion to 20 weeks and she said that she would have no hesitation in doing so again.

She said: “What we are trying to do here is not put obstacles in people’s way but to reflect the way medical science has moved on.”

Mrs Miller used social networking site Twitter to reiterate her remarks.

“Abortion emotive subject but shouldn’t shy away from talking about these issues. Not calling for Parly action but restating widely known view,” she said.

Her comments have led to #mariamillerdoesnotspeakforme trending on the social network website, as well as several angry comments aimed at the MP.

Roz Keveney tweeted: “@Maria_MillerMP The problem isn’t that you’re saying things that might be unpopular, it’s that you are saying things that are totally wrong”.

Mrs Miller’s department at the government has declined to comment on her remarks, saying that the minister speaks for herself.

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