Abortion vote latest

This entry was posted on
Tuesday, May 20th, 2008
6:53 pm and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement.

Via Student Midwife, I learn of a live-blog over at the Guardian.

Any other games in town?

[There may be a little action here, but no guarantees.]

19:25 – Edward Leigh (Con) just read out Nadine’s ‘voice of the majority’ statistics (from a poll conducted commissioned* by the Christian Institute). So it’s on him if the poll turns out to have been conducted on the back of a hymn sheet in a church car park.

[*POST-MATCH MINI-UPDATE – Find out more about that poll here and here.]

19:50 – Mark Pritchard (Con) is the second MP to complain that we don’t show late-term abortions on television and ‘let the public decide’. Claims 2/3 of all people and 3/4 of women in his constituency support 20 weeks. It’s Nadine’s very favrit stats again! How many MPs are running off the same information pack?

19:55 – Pritchard Brings out a picture of 16 week old fetus even though he knows he’s not supposed to pull the stunt! FFS!

19:58 – Pritchard has lost it now. He’s wasting everybody’s time, and waffling on about the great sporting heroes we may be aborting.

20:10 – It’s been far too sensible and boring since Pritchard shut his mouth, so let me use this opportunity to ask where in the hell Pritchard gets off taking the CI’s (alleged) poll results and claiming them to be the view of his constituency?!

20:17 – Mike Penning (Con) has wished for a longer debate. Presumably because more Conservative MPs want to sing from the same information pack.

20:20 – Desmond Swayne (Con) interjects quite energetically and wants more emotive language and fewer “euphemisms”.

20:22 – Mike Penning (Con) brings common sense and dignity to the debate by revealing a personal anecdote – transmitted via Facebook no less – of a young woman having (*gasp*) multiple abortions.

20:30 – Mike Penning (Con), Shadow Front Bench Minister for Health; “Please vote for 20 weeks, that’s what I will be doing.”

20:32 – Dawn Primarolo (Lab) Minister of State for Public Health; (paraphrased lots) Medically, nothing has changed since 24 was agreed on. Can we please look at the evidence?

20:34 – Ann Widdecombe uses the word EV-I-DENCE because (we assume) she has some that’s relevant

20:37 – More interjections. Dawn Primarolo (Lab) forced to make her point again for those who aren’t listening. Nothing has changed since 24 was agreed on. She attempts to debunk some nonsense on the loose…

20:45 – Ann Widdecombe objects to this on the basis that it insults the source of the nonsense, who is not present to defend himself/herself. Time for a sensible cup of tea…


21:14 – Now Judy Mallaber (Lab) is telling a personal anecdite. Don’t care whose side she’s on, I’m going back to the kitchen.


21:20 – Gah! Almost missed Nadine. She’s pro-choice, she says. Nadine tells the bedpan story again.

21:32 – Go, Nadine, go! She choked and almost lost the floor, but got back on her feet after the second long call for calm from the Speaker. Now the bullshit is flowing thick and fast. I look forward to fisking most of this tomorrow. For now, please note that Nadine Dorries looks and sounds just like Ollie Plimsoles when talking about ‘ishooz’.

21:33 – Speaker has to call for calm again!

21:40 – Oh, FFS… here come the ‘abortion industry’ rubbish. More calls for televised late-term abortions. And she pushes the claim of overwhelming public support. In a further enhancement of the CI poll, she claims that the majority of women back a reduction from 24 weeks and – in her words – do so in an informed fashion because they are ‘specifying’ 20 weeks. Colour me incredulous.

(That poll is getting one hell of a workout today isn’t it?)

21:46 – Off for fresh tea, though I wish for something stronger after Dorries. (Even mouthwash would do. At least it would get this bad taste out of my mouth.)

21:56 – Just found out that rhetorically speaking is also live-blogging here. Lots of detail that I’ve missed or not typed. Go see.

22:02 – Richard Ottaway Missed his name, proposed that point of viability has come down from 24 weeks to 23 or 22 to cries of “What?” “No it hasn’t.” … anyone catch his name?

22:06 – Ann Widdecombe claiming that we are murdering children in the womb, let’s show the public, moral rah rah rah, fighting for the weak, blah blah blah.

22:10 – Division.

22:41 – Sorry for the delay. I needed to kick computer in guts *and* have the server kicked in guts. Neither could stomach Nadine. Expect to see this phrase a lot tomorrow… Dawn Primarolo on Nadine Dorries; “She has asserted many things as fact which are not this evening.”

10:50 – 12, 16, 18, 20 (sorry, Nadine)… now it’s crunch time.

23:05 – See Liberal Conspiracy for more live-blogging and a run-down of the proposed amendments.

23:12 – Nadine Dories starts by claiming to have the backing of 200 MPs, and after two weeks of solid campaigning has the support of…. 190 MPs.


23:16 – Ayes 233, noes 305 – ’22 weeks’ goes down! Cameron** only brought 43 MPs with him!

And me without so much as a beer in the house…

[**NOTE – Cameron has said long before all of this that he supported a 20-week limit, but yesterday he conspiciously let it be known that he would most certainly back a limit of 22 weeks. No matter which way Cameron voted himself, 22 weeks looked to be the rallying cry for the troops (“Come on fellas, over the top middle!”)… but not enough Tories followed him.]

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