Hopeful Development: Foetal Sentience Committee Bill succeeds at Second Reading in House of Lords

A bill to establish a committee on foetal sentience in the House of Lords has just passed Second Reading and will proceed onto Committee Stage.

The Foetal Sentience Committee Bill, introduced by Lord Daniel Moylan, will, if accepted at final stage, create a committee where evidence-based scientific expertise will explore the sentience of unborn babies and all the developments in medical knowledge that has come to light in recent years.

Lord Moylan’s Foetal Sentience Committee Bill, which intends to create a committee to act as a source of evidence-based scientific expertise on the sentience of unborn babies in accord with developments in medical knowledge, received its Second Reading in the House of Lords this afternoon. The committee in turn would advise the Government on policy and possible changes to the law related to foetal sentience.

Commenting on this latest positive development, Catherine Robinson, spokesperson for Right To Life UK, said: “There have been rapid developments in scientific knowledge relating to the development of the unborn child since the Abortion Act was passed in 1967 and the abortion time limit was last changed over 30 years ago in 1990”.

“Given our developing understanding of foetal sentience, the benefits of creating an objective committee to monitor and advise the Government in regard to foetal sentience are clear”.

“This is all the more so in light of the apparent stark difference between unborn animal and unborn human life. As Lord Moylan pointed out, there is legal protection for dog foetuses from seven weeks onwards, but there is no equivalent legislation for human foetuses”.

Click here to watch Lord David Alton’s contribution to the House of Lords debate on the establishment of the Foetal Sentience Committee.