Pro-choice supporters across Scotland gathered in Edinburgh in April for a fantastic celebration of the 1967 Abortion Act. It was a brilliant day and despite the Scottish setting we even got some sunshine in the end!
April 2015 marked the 47th anniversary of the 27 April 1968 enactment of the Act. Each year the busy Abortion Rights Edinburgh group organises this event on Lothian Road. The pro-choice celebration stands opposite the anti-abortion protest that also lines the road on that date.
The event was also attended by Edinburgh’s wonderful Spanish feminist group These Hysterial Women. And Scottish supporters came from across Scotland to celebrate the Act, from as far afield as the Borders, Aberdeen, Dundee and from just down the road in Glasgow.
There was a brilliant atmosphere, with passing traffic on Lothian Road beeping their horns and (in a particularly nice touch) ringing their bicycle bells in support of our celebration. We also had loads of pro-choice support on Twitter, with supporters using the #celebrate67 hashtag to join in.
The UK is a pro-choice country and 2015 marks the 47th year that we have had the 1967 Abortion Act in place to allow women safe, legal access to abortion. But there is still a lot of work to be done in updating and extending abortion law (not least for the women of Northern Ireland, where the 1967 Act has never extended).
Our celebration in Edinburgh is about being visible. It’s about reminding the anti-abortion activists who line Lothian Road each year that too many people care about women’s rights for them to be taken away. It’s about celebrating an act that saved women’s lives, and continues to save them to this day.