On Monday the 23rd at 9:30am Abortion Rights will be delivering a Trojan horse to parliament to demonstrate our objection to Bruce’s amendment. Abortion invites the media to partake in a photo call at Old Palace Yard.
Abortion Rights believes Fiona Bruce MP’s amendment to Part 5 of the Serious Crime Bill is an attempt to undermine the 1967 Abortion Act and women’s access to health care.
Abortion Rights sees Bruce’s amendment, which aims to make abortion on the grounds of gender illegal, as an attempt to obstruct women’s rights under the guise of protecting female fetuses.
Abortion Rights Chair Kerry Abel says:
‘Anti-abortion activists around the world have deployed this Trojan horse tactic, attempting to use the issue of sex-selective abortion as a first step to undermining and preventing legal abortion. Gender equality is not advanced by enacting laws that place new restrictions on women’s bodies.’
Statements In support
Glenda Jackson MP:
‘I am very concerned about this amendment. Gender based abortion is already illegal in the UK and this legislation could impede on a woman’s access to abortion. I will vote against the amendment and urge pro-choice supporters to make sure that their voices are heard by their elected representatives’
Diane Abbott MP :
“I am firmly opposed to this. It is yet another completely gratuitous amendment designed to undermine a woman’s right to choose”.
Abortion Rights is concerned that Bruce’s amendment would have the following impact:
It would make vulnerable women more vulnerable, despite claims to protect them. If any woman is requesting an abortion against her will because she is being coerced, abused or threatened, it is vital that she can talk to the abortion referrer or provider about it without fear of prosecution. A woman must be supported to make her own decision and be signposted to agencies that can help her.
- It would undermine confidentiality between doctors and their patients and deter doctors from referring women for abortion. Doctors would be made responsible for looking into a woman’s family life to decide if she is seeking an abortion on the grounds of gender. It would place inappropriate pressure on professionals in the health service to monitor women and make judgments about their motives before agreeing to provide an abortion.
- It would establish a precedent for making a certain kind of abortion illegal, thereby putting all other reasons for having an abortion under scrutiny in the future. This is a slippery slope that could ultimately erode a woman’s right to choose and to make private decisions about her health.
Abortion Rights will be available for comment/interviews from 8:30 am Monday 23rd.
Notes for editors:
- Abortion Rights is holding a photo call for press call at Old Palace Yard Monday the 23th Feb 2015 9:30am.
- Abortion Rights is the UK’s national pro-choice organisation campaigning for a woman’s right to choose. www.abortionrights.org.uk
- Since 1967 the Abortion Act has enabled women to access abortions in England, Wales and Scotland. One in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime.
- A consistent three quarters of people support a woman’s right to choose in Britain. However there is a vocal minority that continually seeks to introduce amendments to legislation in Parliament that would undermine women’s bodily autonomy and existing law and practice.