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Tory MP will tomorrow urge Commons to drop gay blood ban

Gabby Jeffries October 21, 2014

A motion calling for an end to the 12-month deferral on gay and bisexual men donating blood will be tabled on Wednesday by Conservative MP Michael Fabricant.

At present, men who have sex with men (MSM), can only donate if they have not had sex for 12 months or more.

In 2011, England, Wales and Scotland introduced a one-year deferral.

A lifetime ban remains in place in Northern Ireland.

Mr Fabricant will introduce a Private Member’s Bill on Wednesday 22 October in the House of Commons, and speak for ten minutes on why the ban should be removed.

In September, the former vice-chairman of the Conservative Party told PinkNews that the current rules amounted to discrimination.

The Lichfield MP said: “There is no logic when a straight man who is screwing around with a different girl every night can give blood while a monogamous gay man in a stable relationship has to be celibate for 12 months before he is allowed to do so. Of course, the safety of patients and of donors must be paramount, but this whole issue needs to be looked at again. With a shortage of donors of specific blood groups, it is becoming urgent.”

Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, has campaigned against the 12-month deferral for many years.

Later this autumn, the MP will table a parliamentary motion calling for “full equality in blood donation” and abolition of the 12-month deferral rule for gay and bisexual men.

In June, the Department of Health (DH) rejected calls by the Green Party to end the restrictions.

A DH spokesperson told PinkNews.co.uk: “The 12-month deferral reflects the heightened risk men who have sex with men have from blood-borne viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis B.

“It allows for the period of time these viruses can go undetected by screening tests and lessens the risk of infection in people who need blood donations.”

The Department of Health also suggested that a fresh review would be premature as SaBTO had issued its recommendations less than three years ago.

More: blood ban, conservative mp, Conservative MP Michael Fabricant, donating blood, England, gay blood ban, Michael Fabricant, sabto, tory mp

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