Nadine Dorries MP has to wait a few more hours before she'll learn if her fellow MPs will vote for a lower limit on abortion. Regardless of how MPs vote our belief is that Nadine has already succeeded to a considerable extent. Her campaign - which has been featured by every major broadcaster and newspaper - has reminded people that the unborn child has humanity. People can disagree as to the nature of that humanity but more pregnant women know more about the foetus growing inside them because of the re-emergence of the abortion debate. There are many aspects of America's abortion debate that are unattractive but at least there is a public debate about an enormously important moral issue.
The Telegraph editorialises today that the upper limit is not the real issue and points to a lack of investment in informing women of "the medical and psychological trauma of abortion". We have sympathy with that view. More useful than any other reform would be the introduction of 'fully-informed consent'. Nadine Dorries is herself in favour of that kind of reform and has previously proposed what she called a 'cooling off period':
"Such a cooling-off period is necessary, because the decision to terminate a pregnancy or not is one with which the woman concerned will have to live for the rest of her life. It is imperative that this decision is fully considered, and that all the necessary help and advice is available for her to make an informed decision. This part of the bill is designed to enforce a woman’s right to know. There is no pressure on a woman to decide either way. The woman does indeed have the right to choose. The cooling-off period gives her this time to reflect on her decision. It is also a time when parents, partners, boyfriends etc will have to stand back and give the woman time to reflect."
Following today's vote we'll be publishing a guide to how every Tory MP voted.