Abortion Rights Blog

The national pro-choice campaign

Abortion Rights Press Release:  Study from Women on Web shows women experience barriers in accessing abortion in Great Britain

 

Research published today in the peer-reviewed journal Contraception shows that a significant number of British women are seeking abortions outside the prohibitive framework of the 1967 Abortion Act.

According to data collected from the abortion rights, services, provisions group Women on Web in the four-month period November 2016 to March 2017 over 500 British women contacted the group requesting the medication necessary to carry out an at-home abortion.

The 1967 Abortion Act makes no mention of abortion pills, as such medications had yet to be invented. The law has been interpreted in a way that forbids the use of abortion pills outside the offices of specific medical professionals. Abortion Rights condemns this interpretation and argues that the law should be interpreted in a compassionate way that prioritises the needs and experiences of women, allowing women to take abortion pills safely and in their homes.

Kerry Abel, Chair of Abortion Rights said, ‘There is hard evidence adds to our assertion that women should be trusted to make personal decisions affecting their bodies without unnecessary and outdated (not medically relevant) restrictions from a fifty-year-old law.’

It is important to note that if a woman in Great Britain chooses to have an abortion outside the strict limitations of the 1967 Abortion Act then she could be prosecuted under the 1861 Offences against the Person Act which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Surely no one in contemporary British society would want a woman to suffer such an injustice simply for choosing to exercise reproductive autonomy.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  1. Our media team would be happy to provide further quotes, press images, and information. Media contact Kerry Abel (07979 535 242) 
  2. Abortion Rights is the national pro-choice campaign, working to defend and extend abortion rights and provide a pro-choice voice to the media.
  3. Since 1967 the Abortion Act has enabled women to access abortions in England, Wales, and Scotland.
  4. One in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime.
  5. 70% of people support a woman’s right to choose in Britain. However, there is a vocal minority that continually seeks to introduce amendments to legislation in Parliament that would undermine women’s bodily autonomy and existing law and practice.
  6. Read the Women On Web study here
  7. Women on Web is a digital community of women who have had abortions, medical doctors, researchers, and individuals and organizations that support abortion rights.
  8.  Medical abortion pills are one of the several methods of abortion recommended on the WHO Essential Medicines List.
  9. Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) showed that the number of abortion pills seized in Britain has increased  from 5 pills in 2013 to 375 in 2016

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  1. Our media team would be happy to provide further quotes, press images, and information. Media contact Kerry Abel (07979 535 242) 
  2. Abortion Rights is the national pro-choice campaign, working to defend and extend abortion rights and provide a pro-choice voice to the media.
  3. Since 1967 the Abortion Act has enabled women to access abortions in England, Wales, and Scotland.
  4. One in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime.
  5. 70% of people support a woman’s right to choose in Britain. However, there is a vocal minority that continually seeks to introduce amendments to legislation in Parliament that would undermine women’s bodily autonomy and existing law and practice.
  6. Read the Women On Web study here
  7. Women on Web is a digital community of women who have had abortions, medical doctors, researchers, and individuals and organizations that support abortion rights.
  8.  Medical abortion pills are one of the several methods of abortion recommended on the WHO Essential Medicines List.
  9. Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) showed that the number of abortion pills seized in Britain has increased  from 5 pills in 2013 to 375 in 2016