Parliament should reconsider the legislation surrounding abortion after a mother was jailed, a Southampton MP has said.

Caroline Nokes, who chairs the Commons Women and Equalities Committee, said we are relying on legislation that is ‘very out of date.’

This comes after mum-of-three Carla Foster was jailed for more than two years for inducing an abortion outside the legal limit.

The Tory MP for Romsey and Southampton North told the BBC Radio 4's World Tonight programme MPs should ‘decide in the 21st Century whether we should be relying on legislation that is centuries old.’

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She said: “It’s certainly a very sad case and I think a sentence which has caused a number of arguments to be raised as it seems to be a very long time for a mother-of-three to be in prison.

“We heard from the judge in this case that he believed there was a clear case for parliament to reconsider the legislation surrounding abortion. I think he has a valid point.

"This is not something that has been debated in any great detail for many years now.

"And cases like this, although tragic and thankfully very rare, throw into sharp relief that we are relying on legislation that is very out of date.

"It makes a case for Parliament to start looking at this issue in detail."

The news of Foster’s, 44, conviction sparked outcry across the UK, with campaigners calling for urgent reform.

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She received a sentence of 28 months, 14 of which will be spent in custody.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard how Foster was between 32 and 34 weeks pregnant when she took medication acquired via the ‘pills by post’ scheme introduced during lockdown.

The scheme allows pregnancies up to 10 weeks to be terminated at home.

Abortion is legal up to 24 weeks, and the procedure must be carried out in a clinic after 10 weeks.

Foster initially denied child destruction but later pleaded guilty to an offence under Section 58 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.