As many of you will heard, Claire Rayner passed away recently at the age of 79. Known to all as a writer, campaigner and agony aunt, among the many causes she championed was a woman’s right to safe, legal abortion.
It was a subject close to her heart: as a young nurse in London in the 1950s she had witnessed the tragic consequences of backstreet abortion, and in her work as an agony aunt she regularly witnessed the distress of women facing unwanted pregnancies.
Her willingness to address unplanned pregnancy and abortion directly in the media, as well as sexual relationships and contraception, did a huge amount to destigmatise these issues among the general population, as did the straightforward, humane manner in which she approached sensitive topics.
As a pro-choice activist she supported the work of Abortion Rights, and its predecessor, the National Abortion Campaign. Her contribution to the pro-choice movement in the United Kingdom is hugely appreciated and the loss of one of our most eloquent and powerful advocates is deeply felt.