MPs to discuss reform of UK’s Victorian-era abortion law

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MPs to discuss reform of UK's Victorian-era abortion law

Under an act passed in 1861, women using pills at home to terminate an unplanned pregnancy can still be jailed for life in much of the UK

Sarah Boseley Health editor

Friday 10 March 2017

In years to come, it may be regarded as one of the last battles for women’s autonomy. Under an obscure Victorian law, passed when women did not even have the vote, the decision to terminate an unplanned pregnancy using pills in the privacy of a home is punishable by life in prison – for the woman and any doctor who helps her.

Now MPs are to discuss for the first time de-criminalising women who attempt to bring about their own abortion.

In modern-day Britain, most abortions take place before 12 weeks with the aid of pills. Yet if a woman orders those pills online and takes them without the consent of two doctors, she can be jailed. So can a doctor who gives them to her to take at home instead of in the clinic.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/10/mps-to-discuss-reform-of-uks-victorian-era-abortion-law