Prior to our 2014 AGM, we’ve summarised some recent activity and future plans.
‘I’m pro-choice because’ campaign: As part of the September 28 Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, we kicked off our ‘I’m pro-choice because…’ social media campaign. We had such a great response that we’ve made this into an ongoing action. If you’re not on social media, you can get the conversation started by talking in your community about your reasons for being prochoice. Posters and noticeboards at Conferences and other events can be sued to collect statements. We believe this helps challenge the stigma associated with abortion and lets women know they are neither alone nor judged.
Working with the trade unions: Over the last few months we’ve been at the TUC, NASUWT and STUC. We also met with SERTUC Women’s Committee to discuss choice as an issue for workingwomen. TUC Women’s conference is coming up in March 2014, and UNITE has submitted a pro-choice motion for discussion. We will be attending the UNITE Equalities Conference in Eastbourne in February, and the GMB national Conference in June in Nottingham. If you are going along to your trade union conference, and would like to assist with promoting Abortion Rights, please let the Abortion rights office know.
Abortion in the UK: Current Issues
Antichoice activists such as 40 Days for Life continue to stage protests outside clinics across the UK. We believe this behaviour unacceptable, as it creates a context of shame and intimidating for women and staff.
With “stings” by the Telegraph and ‘research’ in the Independent, sex-selective abortion is all over the news – and very confusedly so. As bpas Chief Executive Ann Furedi stated, ‘where gender discrimination exists it must indeed be tackled, but certainly not in the form of further undermining women’s rights’. This issue is imbued with racist assumptions about Asian cultures, and any restrictive law would disproportionately affect these groups. Moreover, nowhere in the Abortion Act 1967 is sex selective abortion banned. For further information, see our website. Prochoice means the woman is central, and her rights must be at the heart of legislative and medical frameworks in which services are provided.
Abortion Worldwide: Current Issues
Spain: Sadly, women in Spain are now facing extremely regressive re-criminalisation of abortion. Despite legalisation of abortion in 2010, the proposed law would only allow abortion in instances of rape or ‘lasting harm’ to the woman’s health. Widespread protests across Europe have shown serious opposition to the Spanish Government’s plans. Email firstname.lastname@example.org“>email@example.com for information about actions on February 1st.
Australia and USA: Personhood legislation continues to threaten the right to choose by giving foetuses rights, and then prioritising these over women. In New South Wales, Australia personhood legislation passed the Lower House and is waiting consideration in the Upper. Across America personhood Bills continue to be presented, however we’re pleased they’re generally rejected.
Republic of Ireland: The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill was passed in July 2013. Members of the Dáil voted 127 to 31 to legalise abortion in cases of medical emergencies and if the pregnant woman is at risk of suicide. Abortion in all other circumstances remains illegal. We are concerned that the many provisions on newly legal abortion make for a lengthy, costly and stressful process. While we acknowledge this is a positive step 22 years after the ‘X case’, we hope that further advances are made to enable women to truly choose. According to the Ireland Department of Health figures, approximately 4000 Irish women travelled to Britain to terminate their pregnancies in 2012. It is predicted that many Irish women will continue to travel abroad to have their reproductive health needs met.
February 4th, London – Do you remember that Dirty Dancing is actually about backstreet abortion? We are hosting a screening of Dirty Dancing with a panel discussion on representation of abortion in pop culture. This event is a fundraiser for Abortion Rights. Tickets are online via EventBrite.
All year, all over the UK! – After Tiller is now in cinemas! This brilliant documentary explores the impact on service provision of late-term abortion in the USA after the murder of Dr Tiller in 2009. It is an insightful, honest and rare example of accurately representing abortion.
7-8th February Ipswich Film Theatre / 10th-14th February Broadway Cinema Nottingham / 10th March Bath Picturehouse. More details are on our website or from individual cinemas.
What does Abortion Rights need? Your continued support! We rely on membership and donations to continue fighting. We are extremely grateful for any contributions you are able to make. We also need your public support; from social media interaction to letting your friends and family know about Abortion Rights, every bit of prochoice publicity counts.
Phone: 020 7923 9792
Address: 18 Ashwin Street, London, E8 3DL