RCOG response to latest abortion statistics in England and Wales

RCOG response to latest abortion statistics in England and Wales

News 13 June 2019

The Department of Health and Social Care published statistics today which show the number of abortions carried out in England and Wales is at its highest level.

There were 200,608 abortions in 2018, an increase of 4% on the previous year.

Overall, abortion rates have increased in the last decade for all women over the age of 25. Less than half (48%) of abortions were to women who had already had one or more previous births.

Continued: https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/news/rcog-response-to-latest-abortion-statistics-in-england-and-wales/

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UK – A 12 week abortion limit would be a disaster for vulnerable women

A 12 week abortion limit would be a disaster for vulnerable women

Rebecca Reid
Monday 10 Jun 2019

I’ve tried to avoid as much of the Tory party leadership nonsense as I can. I don’t care if one of them took coke in the 90s. I don’t really care if one of them smoked a magic pipe of pixie dust in a forest, with a wizard.

However I do care that men like Jeremy Hunt are taking this opportunity to make edicts about how they see the future of women’s rights.

Continued: https://metro.co.uk/2019/06/10/a-12-week-abortion-limit-would-be-a-disaster-for-vulnerable-women-9881905/

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UK – Tory leadership: Hunt rules out change to abortion law

Tory leadership: Hunt rules out change to abortion law

10 June 2019

Jeremy Hunt has ruled out any changes to abortion law if he becomes the UK's next prime minister.

The Tory leadership contender has been criticised after saying his "personal view" was that the legal time limit for an abortion should be reduced from 24 weeks to 12.

But he told the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg: "No government I lead will ever seek to change the law on abortion."

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-48579890

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Letter: Access to abortion is a basic human right

Access to abortion is a basic human right

Lesley Regan, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, condemns abortion laws in Alabama and Northern Ireland, and Nik Wood supports Gaby Hinsliff’s call for pro-choice men to speak up

Sun 19 May 2019

Last week the state of Alabama signed into law a bill that prevents women accessing safe abortion services, even in cases of rape and incest (Report, 16 May). Doctors who perform abortion will face up to 99 years in jail. We expect our government to condemn this law in the harshest possible terms and to uphold the determination by the UN that access to abortion is a human right. We expect our government to stand strong with those who will tirelessly fight this injustice by raising this issue at the highest possible levels.

We know that sanctions do not deter women from seeking abortion, but drive them to unsafe treatments or force them to travel to other places. But the voice of the UK is diminished and its authority undermined by the even more draconian abortion laws in Northern Ireland, which criminalise women as well as doctors.

It is time for this government to act, to legislate for safe abortion services in Northern Ireland and to denounce this unjust movement, spreading across America, which will cost women and girls their lives.

Professor Lesley Regan
President, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/19/access-to-abortion-is-a-basic-human-right

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Meet the naked academic who is rewriting women – and their bodies — into economic history

Meet the naked academic who is rewriting women - and their bodies — into economic history

By Eshe Nelson
May 13, 2019

In March 2018, Victoria Bateman walked into the gala dinner at the annual conference of the Royal Economic Society in Brighton, the largest gathering of economists in the UK. Amid the formal business attire, Bateman stood out; she was completely naked, except for some jewelry fitting for a gala event. Across her chest she had written “RES,” the acronym used by the society, and across her stomach “PECT.”

That day, the message to her peers was a demand for respect for women and their place in economics. This was not the beginning, nor would it be the end, of Bateman using her body to help deliver a message.

Continued: https://qz.com/1614455/victoria-bateman-is-rewriting-women-and-their-bodies-into-economic-history/

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UK – My abortion politicised me, says WEP leader Mandu Reid

My abortion politicised me, says WEP leader Mandu Reid
Women’s Equality party head says her decision would have been different if UK parenting policies had been more progressive

Nosheen Iqbal
Sat 27 Apr 2019

Mandu Reid, the new leader of the Women’s Equality party (WEP), has spoken publicly about the impact of her abortion and why it compelled her to enter politics.

In an interview with the Observer, Reid said her decision to have a termination at 33 had not been “an easy choice” but one made because she “couldn’t balance being a single mother and hold on to my career aspirations”.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/apr/27/mandu-reid-wep-abortion-politicised-me

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IN MEMORIAM – David Paintin, UK obstetrician-gynaecologist, lifelong abortion rights campaigner

IN MEMORIAM – David Paintin, UK obstetrician-gynaecologist, lifelong abortion rights campaigner

David Paintin Hon FFSRH MB ChB FRCOG was part of the group from the Abortion Law Reform Association (ALRA) in Britain, which he joined in 1963, that supported Lord Silkin and MP David Steel during the parliamentary debates that resulted in the passage of the 1967 Abortion Act. He also worked hard to increase the acceptability of abortion. He promoted innovation and good practice through his involvement with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and by lecturing on the provision of legal abortion to medical students, family planning doctors and gynaecologists throughout the country.

David qualified in Bristol in 1954. He trained under the supervision of Professor Dugald Baird, in Aberdeen, also a strong abortion rights advocate, before becoming a reader in  obstetrics and gynaecology at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, London in 1963. From 1963 to 1991, based at St Mary’s Medical School, he organised the teaching of medical students and also as an honorary consultant, provided NHS abortion services for Paddington and North Kensington. He was a chair of the Birth Control Trust (1981-1998) and a trustee of the Pregnancy Advisory Service (1981-1996) and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (1996-2003).

He continued to work on abortion issues. He was editor of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology for a period, and became Emeritus reader in obstetrics and gynaecology at St Mary’s Hospital. In a recent book, he reflected on the legal debates that led to the 1967 Abortion Act and its subsequent implementation, and attempts by parliamentarians to undermine and restrict abortion law in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s. He died aged 88 on 30 March 2019 after a long illness.

SOURCES: Friends of Bpas Newsletter, March 2019 ; Charter for Choice 2015 ; Wikipedia, 4 April 2019 ; Bucks Free Press, 5 April 2019

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Source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/in-memoriam-david-paintin-uk-obstetrician-gynaecologist-lifelong-abortion-rights-campaigner/

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Northern Ireland’s abortion laws are an abomination. Westminster must step in

Northern Ireland’s abortion laws are an abomination. Westminster must step in
The government must heed a select committee report – and end the brutal, primitivist treatment of women in the region

Polly Toynbee
Thu 25 Apr 2019

They were all there: Northern Ireland’s DUP and Sinn Féin leaders, side by side with the Good Friday agreement’s guarantors, the British and Irish prime ministers. All were gathered at the funeral of the journalist Lyra McKee. “Why in God’s name,” asked Fr Martin Magill, had it taken her death to bring them together? But his exasperated tone implied he didn’t expect a political miracle.

Visit this deadlocked region, the UK’s poorest, and it feels transformed from the dark days of the troubles. But its political paralysis is partly a product of Westminster’s longstanding neglect of the region, at least until the DUP unexpectedly came to play a pivotal role in the Brexit psychodrama. The red hand of Ulster holds in its palm the fate of May’s Brexit deal, though the DUP doesn’t represent the far more progressive and forward-looking remain-voting country. The party may yet become Boris Johnson’s kingmakers through its refusal to back Theresa May’s deal.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/25/northern-ireland-abortion-laws-westminster-dup-women

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Northern Ireland abortion: Westminster inquiry mounts pressure on UK Government to reform law

Northern Ireland abortion: Westminster inquiry mounts pressure on UK Government to reform law
Women and Equality Committee report makes clear UK Government responsible for addressing breach of women’s rights in Northern Ireland

25 Apr 2019

The Women and Equalities Committee have today (25 April) published their inquiry report on abortion in Northern Ireland. Amnesty International UK and the Family Planning Association have welcomed the report and called on the UK Government to take immediate action.
The report identifies serious concerns with the abortion law and makes a series of important recommendations on the law, policy and practice governing abortion access for women in Northern Ireland. Critically, it calls on the UK Government to address the rights breaches found by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Continued: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/northern-ireland-abortion-westminster-inquiry-mounts-pressure-uk-government-reform

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UK – Ministers accused of inaction over Northern Ireland abortion rights

Ministers accused of inaction over Northern Ireland abortion rights
MPs say government must provide clarity on legal situation for women

Heather Stewart Political editor
Thu 25 Apr 2019

Ministers must act urgently to address human rights breaches faced by women in Northern Ireland who seek an abortion, according to a damning report from a cross-party committee of MPs.

The women and equalities committee accuses the government of failing to tackle challenges identified by a UN committee on women’s rights last year, which found “systematic violations”.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/25/ministers-accused-of-inaction-over-northern-ireland-abortion-rights

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