Abortion Rights Blog

The national pro-choice campaign

Abortion Rights Student Conference Schedule 2015 

AR stdnt conf 2015 slide

2015 Conference Schedule

The Future of Abortion Provision

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Abortion Rights aims to create a safe space in which we can exchange and formulate ideas, create networks and share knowledge and skills so that we are all equipped to effectively and sensitively campaign for a woman’s right to choose an abortion.


11:00 – 11:30: Registration

11:30 – 11:35: Welcome & Opening Remarks, Kerry Abel & Alex Binnie

11:35– 11:55: Why the Fight for Reproductive Choice is a Student Issue, Alex Binnie

11:55 – 12:25 Getting an Abortion – just how easy is it? Annie Tidbury

The anti-choice lobby often claims that it is ‘too easy’ to get an abortion. In this group exercise we’ll be looking at exactly how you obtain an abortion in 2015. Participants will work together to put all the steps in order and will get an idea of just how easy or difficult the process is.

12:25- 12:40 Break

12:40 – 13:40

  • Panel AWhat is the biggest threat to women’s access to abortion today?

This session will explore the current political and social climate around abortion in the UK. Panellists will discuss barriers to abortion access, such as clinic harassment, legislation and stigma, and explore the impact of these barriers on women who want / need an abortion.


  • Rashida Islam –Chair
  • Cat Smith MP
  • Sarah Ditum
  • Dr Pam Lowe

There will be ample time for discussion and questions.

13:40–14:40: Lunch & Networking

Breakout Session


This session will give participants the opportunity to engage with one of two specific abortion-related issues – educating medical students on abortion or keeping university campuses pro-choice.  The workshops will be interactive and practically focused.

 Workshop A: What should medical students learn about abortion?

This interactive session will explore the aims and barriers of teaching medical students about abortion. It will outline the teaching UCL medical students get on: the clinical aspects of abortion; the ethical and legal aspects of abortion care; conscientious objection and conscientious provision of care; ‘robust’ consultations with women who want/are considering an abortion. It will also describe the voluntary sessions open to UCL medical students – abortion assessment clinics and seminars that explore personal values around abortion care – and the student political action group Viva la Vulva. Participants will get the chance to design their own model curriculum for abortion education in medical schools.

Jayne Kavanagh & Sean Rees

Workshop B: Winning the Pro-Choice Argument on Campus 

There has been increased anti-abortion activity on UK university campuses in recent years; unions need to have the confidence and tools to combat these activities and keep their unions pro-choice. This session will equip students with the facts and arguments needed to confront anti-abortion groups on campus and win the pro-choice argument. It will also explore potential practical and legal issues that may arise when battling to keep campuses pro-choice.

Kelley Temple

15:30-15:45– Break

15:45 – 16:45

  • Panel B: Imagining a pro-choice future & how we get there

This session will focus on the future of abortion provision in the UK. It will address issues such as how we can meaningfully campaign for change, the potential unwanted consequences of change and how we can galvanise the pro-choice majority.

 There will be ample time for discussion and questions.


  • Kerry Abel – Chair
  • Alex Binnie
  • Dr Jayne Kavanagh
  • Dr Sheelagh McGuiness
  • Shelly Asquith

Download a PDF of the 2015-Conference-Schedule