Forty years after the enactment of the 1967 Abortion Act too many women seeking an abortion face distressing obstruction and delay. This results in later abortions than women would choose or in some cases in women being forced to bear a child against their will.
Abortion Rights has been working with pro-choice MPs from each of the major parties who have tabled a number of positive amendments to improve access to abortion and bring the law into line with developments in medical practice and social attitudes.
These amendments would:
– reduce the number of doctors required to approve an abortion from two to one
– enable suitably trained nurses to carry out early abortions
– allow abortion in suitable local medical settings
– allow women the choice to be at home for the second stage of an early medical abortion
– Ban misleading advertising of pregnancy counselling services
– Clarify the limit of conscientious objection.
The positive New Clauses 1, 2, 7, 9-14 are based on recommendations by the cross-party Science and Technology Committee and carry broad support from organisations including: The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Nurses, Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, fpa, ARC, BPAS, Marie Stopes International, Doctors for a Woman’s Choice on Abortion, Brook, women’s groups and trade unions.
We also support the extension of the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland. An estimated 50,000–70,000 women have had to travel to England for a termination, paying hundreds of pounds for services and resulting in abortion later than they would prefer. At least five women have died due to unsafe abortion and countless more have been forced to continue a pregnancy against their will.
Please use Abortion Rights’ full briefing on all the amendments and model letters to help you lobby your MP over the summer.