Only 2 Political Parties Have Pledged To Decriminalise Abortion In England & Wales
By Lauren Sharkey
Nov 27, 2019
Manifestos have been released and election campaigns are well underway. But a closer look at each manifesto has revealed that only two major parties are promising to decriminalise abortion in England and Wales.
Although the 1967 Abortion Act permits abortions up to 24 weeks, the Victorian-era 1861 Offences Against The Person Act was never repealed. This means that abortions performed outside of the Abortion Act's parameters are technically punishable by a lengthy prison sentence. (Both the person having the abortion and the people assisting it are at risk of criminal prosecution.)
Abortion Still Isn't Fully Decriminalised In England & Wales — This Campaign Wants To Change That
By Lauren Sharkey
Oct 23, 2019
In a week where one part of the UK is celebrating the introduction of long-awaited-for reproductive rights, the rest are slowly realising they now live in the least progressive parts of the nation. Thanks to a Victorian-era law, abortion is still technically a criminal offence in England and Wales. But a campaign, led by Refinery29 and an 88-year-old campaigner, is aiming to decriminalise it once and for all.
Currently, England and Wales adhere to the 1967 Abortion Act. (Scotland did too until 2016 when powers were handed over to the Scottish Parliament, per the BBC.) This legislation allows abortions up to 24 weeks, but only if two doctors state that continuing with a pregnancy would involve a greater risk to a person's physical or mental health than terminating it.
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.
Derry Girls join Northern Ireland abortion protest
Cast members march on Westminster to lobby secretary of state for change in law
Tue 26 Feb 2019
Stars of the hit television show Derry Girls have joined a group of female MPs in a march on Westminster calling for the extension of abortion rights to Northern Ireland.
The women, including the actors Siobhan McSweeney and Nicola Coughlan, formed part of a group of 28 to symbolise the number of people who leave Northern Ireland for England and Wales each week to have an abortion.
Wales Offers Free Abortions To Northern Ireland Residents, & Here’s What That Means
By Morgan Brinlee
Nov 10, 2018
Earlier this year, reproductive rights advocates celebrated a major victory when the Republic of Ireland repealed a constitutional amendment banning abortion. But while Ireland embraced reproductive rights, abortion has remained largely illegal in the autonomous region of Northern Ireland. Meaning, women living in Northern Ireland who wish to obtain an abortion must travel outside of the province, often incurring costly expenses. But other parts of the United Kingdom are now stepping up to help those in Northern Ireland better access reproductive rights. Wales will offer free abortions to Northern Ireland residents, the country's health secretary announced Friday.
"Our view has always been [that] a woman from Northern Ireland, in Wales, should be able to access termination of pregnancy on the same basis as women in Wales," the BBC reported Welsh Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said in a statement released Friday.
The New Way People In Northern Ireland Are Campaigning For Abortion Reform
1 September 2018
The dire need for abortion reform in Northern Ireland has become even more pressing since Ireland's historic vote to overturn its abortion ban in May. Pro-choice campaigners say women in Ulster are now treated as "second-class citizens" next to women in Ireland as well as women in the rest of the UK.
It's not difficult to grasp their point. While women in England will soon be able to take an abortion pill at home, and women in Scotland and Wales already can, women in Northern Ireland still face a life sentence for having an abortion.
UK: abortion pill progress for English women whilst Northern Irish women 'further isolated'
25 Aug 2018
Responding to news of new government plans to allow women in England to take an early abortion pill at home, Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International UK’s Northern Ireland campaigns manager, said:
“Whilst the UK Government is making progress for women in England, it’s further isolating women in Northern Ireland who are again being left behind - still subjected to archaic and discriminatory abortion laws.
Use of second abortion pill at home to be allowed in England
Government says home use of misoprostol will be legalised by end of 2018
Sat 25 Aug 2018
Women in England are to be allowed to take the second abortion pill at home, giving them the same rights as their counterparts in Scotland and Wales.
The UK government announced on Saturday that it would legalise the home use of early medical abortion drugs by the end of the year. It comes after pressure from campaigners for England to follow in the footsteps of Scotland, which last year became the first part of the UK to introduce the option, and Wales, which announced its own plans in June.
ABORTION AT HOME
Women will soon be allowed to take an abortion pill at home for the first time
By Lynsey Hope
25th August 2018
WOMEN will soon be allowed to take an abortion pill at home for the first time.
The landmark move was welcomed by campaigners who said that visiting a clinic can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Abortion pills are safe and simple
So why won’t the government let women in England take them at home?
Ann Furedi, Chief executive, BPAS
1 August 2018
The government may claim its health service has a commitment to evidence-based treatment, but it is shamefully blind to the evidence when it comes to abortion.
Britain was among the very first countries to allow early medical abortion in hospitals and clinics when it became available more than two decades ago. It now trails behind almost every other country in allowing women to use abortion pills in a sensible, safe and evidence-based way.