Abortion Rights Blog

The national pro-choice campaign

model letter on defending and advancing the law to MP who defended the time limit

Please find here a word document version of the model letter for you to download and amend

House of Commons
London
SW1 0AA

Dear

Thank you for opposing attacks on the abortion time limit – please vote at Report stage of the HFE Bill on 14th July against further attempts to restrict rights and to improve women’s access to safe, legal abortion

I was delighted that you voted against attempts by the anti-abortion lobby to lower the abortion time limit at the Committee stage of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill in May. I was very pleased that MPs recognised the importance of later abortion to a small number of women in difficult and exceptional circumstances and the wealth of medical evidence and opinion against lowering the time limit.

I am worried that additional amendments have been tabled which would lead to damaging delays for the small numbers of women who need abortion post 24 weeks and lead to them having an abortion at even later gestations. Others seek to further restrict access on the grounds of foetal impairment. Please vote against any restriction in women’s current abortion rights.

40 years after the enactment of the 1967 Abortion Act, there is a lot of evidence showing that many women seeking abortion face distressing obstruction and delays when seeking an abortion. The cross-party Commons Science and Technology Committee, professional medical bodies such as the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Royal College of Nursing and family planning groups have all argued that changes to the law are now required to improve access.

Can I count on your support for amendments seeking to improve access to abortion? Proposals include: reducing the number of doctors who have to approve an abortion from two to one; enabling suitably trained nurses to carry out early abortions; allowing women to take the second stage early abortion pill at home if they wish and ensuring women are not denied the opportunity for an early abortion because doctors who are against abortion don’t tell them at the beginning and refer them on to someone else. 

You may also be given the opportunity to vote to extend the Abortion Act 1967 to Northern Ireland in the interests of public health and equity.

No woman takes the decision to have an abortion lightly and women should be given the opportunity to make this personal and careful decision without undue pressure, obstruction or delay.

Yours sincerely,