Following the resounding vote in the House of Lords last week, the Government has agreed to maintain the 72-hour time limit on the detention of pregnant women. This small but vital amendment will protect pregnant women and their unborn babies from the harms of indefinite detention.

We are extremely grateful to the Peers who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the time limit for pregnant women remains in place. In particular, Baroness Lister who tabled the amendment in the Lords, and Baroness Sugg, Baroness Gohir and the Bishop of Gloucester who supported it.

We are also extremely grateful to our friends at Medical Justice, Birth Companions, The Royal College of Midwives, The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the British Medical Association and Maternity Action who have worked alongside us to preserve the time limit. We couldn’t have done this without their support and solidarity!

Alphonsine Kabagabo, Director, Women for Refugee Women, says:

Whilst we are extremely pleased that the Government has agreed to maintain the vital protection of the 72-hour time limit on the detention of pregnant women, we remain appalled and outraged by the ‘Illegal’ Migration Bill and its abject cruelty. Under the Bill, women who have survived rape, torture and trafficking will be prevented from seeking sanctuary here, placing them at serious risk of further harm. We remain staunch in our fight against these hostile policies and hopeful that compassion will win over racism, cruelty and callousness.