Diana Johnson interview: “We need a modern, fit-for-purpose abortion law”
23rd October, 2018
Labour MP Diana Johnson will today introduce a ten-minute rule bill in the House of Commons that would see abortion decriminalised. Currently, the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861 makes abortion illegal in the UK except when there is a risk to the life or health of the mother, and this legislation was only partly superseded by the Abortion Act 1967. Ahead of tabling the backbench bill, Johnson spoke to LabourList.
How did abortion become a key focus in your work as an MP?
MPs from all sides call for abortion law in N Ireland to be relaxed
Letter follows UN declaration that forcing women in Northern Ireland to travel to England is human rights infringement
Wed 7 Mar 2018
More than 100 MPs and peers from all parties have written to the home secretary, Amber Rudd, calling for women in Northern Ireland to be allowed access to abortion services locally rather than having to come to England.
The letter, signed by 131 parliamentarians including eight Conservatives such as the former education secretary Justine Greening and the former chancellor Ken Clarke, the former Liberal leader David Steel and the shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, follows a UN declaration that forcing women to travel for an abortion is an infringement of their human rights.
Why David Steel’s Abortion Act means so much to me – a reflection on its 50th Anniversary
By Caroline Macdonald
Fri 27th October 2017
Today is an important day. We, as Liberals, need to remember that 50 years ago, on this day, the Abortion Act came into being.
Why is this important? I know many people, especially disabled people, feel a real conflict about this legislation. There are issues to consider here, not least with regard to the concept of gender selective abortion and I would urge people to look at MP voting records on this important topic.
Continued at source: https://www.libdemvoice.org/my-personal-stake-in-david-steels-abortion-act-55672.html
Fifty years on, the Abortion Act should be celebrated – and updated
It was – and still is – landmark legislation for women. But some aspects are not fit for purpose in the 21st century
Friday 27 October 2017
Today is the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act, a groundbreaking piece of legislation that allowed doctors in Great Britain to perform abortions lawfully so long as certain conditions were met. Doctors were given the responsibility of deciding if a woman met the conditions laid down by the act. The act has achieved its objective of eliminating deaths from illegal abortion and this fact – and the relief of millions of women who faced an unwanted pregnancy – should be celebrated.
Continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/27/50-years-abortion-act-law-women
The Guardian view on 50 years of legal abortion: let’s finish the work
David Steel’s act was a job half done. Abortion is not a crime, it’s a matter of health
Thursday 26 October 2017
It is 50 years on Friday since David Steel’s abortion act became law. It did not come into force until the following April. In those six months, it is likely that around 70 women died from sepsis or some other cause resulting from illegal abortion: in the previous decade, it claimed at least 150 lives a year, the biggest single cause of maternal mortality. Activists in a campaign that began in the 1930s toasted victory with champagne. But one veteran, who had had an illegal abortion herself, dampened the celebrations. They should be drinking half-glasses, she said, for the job was only half done.
Continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/26/the-guardian-view-on-50-years-of-legal-abortion-lets-finish-the-work
I introduced the Abortion Act 50 years ago this week. This is why it now needs extending
Northern Ireland’s lack of access to abortion and the fact that we won’t decriminalise it altogether in England and Wales puts us miles behind our European neighbours who allow all women to access abortions on request
Thursday 26 October 2017
I recently encountered a professor of medicine who fifty years ago was a young medical student witnessing the passing of the Abortion Act into law. His lecturer held up a newly printed copy of the Act and said: “This is a historic day because your generation of doctors will never have to confront the consequences of botched abortions”. If only this had truly been the case.
Continued at source: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/abortion-act-northern-ireland-law-referendum-a8020826.html
The 50th Anniversary of the Abortion Act
by David Paintin
First published: 19 October 2017
DOI: 10.1111/1471-0528.14919 View/save citation
The 1967 change in the law on abortion (therapeutic termination of pregnancy before viability, TOP) was driven both by the medical establishment and the Abortion Law Reform Association (ALRA). The doctors wanted confirmation that it was lawful for them to terminate a pregnancy that threatened the life of the woman or would result in grave injury to her health, and ALRA wanted a law that made safe termination by doctors so accessible that dangerous back-street TOPs would be eliminated. A new ‘Abortion Act’ would have to meet the aims of both.
Continued at source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1471-0528.14919/full