Jeremy Hunt Photo: Reuters
THE legal time limit on abortion should be halved to 12 weeks, British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.
Mr Hunt said he believed there was a moral case for cutting the current limit of 24 weeks. Although he stressed the Coalition had no plans to change abortion rules, his comments would encourage MPs and campaigners seeking a new vote on the issue.
''Everyone looks at the evidence and comes to a view about when they think that moment is, and my own view is that 12 weeks is the right point for it,'' said Mr Hunt, who was appointed to his post last month.
He denied that his view on abortion was based on religious belief.
''It's just my view about that incredibly difficult question about the moment that we should deem life to start. I don't think the reason I have that view is for religious reasons,'' he said.
Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary said she was ''chilled and appalled'' by Mr Hunt's statement, adding: ''Has he any idea what that means for women's health?''