On 18th November the Scottish TUC voted unanimously to support Abortion Rights for the coming year.
“That this Conference welcomes the defeat of attempts to reduce time limits on access to abortion services and recognises that the strength of the victory was down to the lobbying work that women in the trade union and women’s rights movement have done, along with the medical profession, to show that the very few women who require late term abortions would be the most vulnerable should the time limit be cut.
Only a small proportion of abortions take place after 24 weeks. The decision to end a pregnancy later on is not taken lightly. Sometimes, this is the result of the postcode lottery of NHS provision, causing delay or hostility from GPs. Ten per cent of GPs consider themselves to be conscientious objectors and refuse to grant women an abortion. Women are best placed to decide on whether or not abortion is right for them with the support of their doctor.
“Conference welcomes the establishment of Abortion Rights (Scotland) as a part of the Abortion Rights’ Campaign and instructs the STUC Women’s Committee to be a full partner in this work. However, Conference firmly believes that abortion rights should remain a reserved issue, dealt with by the Westminster Parliament.
“Conference asks the STUC Women’s Committee to take opportunities to be campaigning for amendments to the law, which make it easier for women to access abortions earlier in their pregnancy, including:
· the end to the requirement for 2 doctors to approve an abortion; · enabling suitably trained healthcare professionals to carry out early abortions; · allowing women to be at home for the second stage of an early medical abortion; · requiring anti-choice doctors to declare a conscientious objection; · improving the regulation/…
· improving the regulation of organisations offering counselling related to abortion; and · supporting any campaign by our sisters in Northern Ireland to extend the abortion Act to Northern Ireland.”
Seconder: National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers