The MP today put in charge of boosting support for the Tory party among women recently led a campaign to keep an archaic law that means abortion is illegal and punishable by life imprisonment.

Maria Caulfield was made the party’s vice chair for women amid a shambolic reshuffle of the top figures at Tory HQ.

The cock-up over the appointment of a new Tory party chairman has hogged the headlines but it’s Caulfield’s appointment that could prove more controversial.

That’s because she last year led opposition to a bill brought forward in March by Labour MP Diana Johnson that would have decriminalised abortions.

Although women in Britain can access abortion legally within the 24 week time limit and the agreement of two doctors, Johnson explained:

“Abortion remains a criminal offence in this country, even if it is carried out early in the term, for the woman who has the abortion and anyone who assists her. Under sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861 and other legislation, termination of a pregnancy carries the maximum sentence of life imprisonment. That is the harshest criminal penalty of any country in Europe.”

The Bill was supported by the Royal College of Midwives, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service.

Despite that, Caulfield, who was the only MP to speak against the Bill in Parliament, claimed it would lead to unsafe abortions. Here’s her speech:

The Bill passed its first reading by thirty votes with the support of 17 of Caulfield’s Tory colleagues.

After what she called the “unfortunate” result, Caulfield posted an article on her website stating:

“More must be done to effectively combat the dangerous liberalisation of abortion, which hides under the premise of championing women’s rights, but does this at the expense of negating the protection of unborn children.”

So it’s perhaps not surprising that Caulfield’s appointment hasn’t received the warmest welcome…

A new face at the top but its the same old from the nasty party…

MORE: Maria Caulfield tried to defend Toby Young and got a telling off from a top police officer

  1. ‘Do as we tell you, not as we do.’ They don’t go to jail but we get crucified if it suits them.

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