Coronavirus is making abortion access more difficult in the UK
By Rachel Thompson
March 25, 2020
The UK is now under lockdown. Britons are only permitted to leave their homes for food, health reasons, or work (if it's not possible to be done from home) in a bid to slow the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
Abortion services in the UK are under considerable strain as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Women with severe health issues who've been advised to self-isolate say they're being forced to choose between risking their health by leaving their house and continuing with an unwanted pregnancy that could imperil their health, according to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS).
Coronavirus: Abortion law changes ruled out by health secretary Matt Hancock
George Martin, Yahoo News UK
Mar. 24, 2020
Abortion rules will not be changed as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the health secretary has announced, after the government published and then deleted changes to the law.
Matt Hancock was pressed by MPs after the Department of Health said it would allow women and girls to take abortion pills at home, without the need to attend a clinic or hospital, and for doctors to prescribe from their own homes.
Coronavirus: Department of Health says temporary changes to abortion law were ‘published in error’
'This was published in error,' a spokesperson told The Independent
Mar 23, 2020
The Department of Health says reported changes to the abortion law, that would allow women to take both pills at home during the coronavirus outbreak, are not going ahead.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson told The Independent: “This was published in error. There will be no changes to abortion regulations.”
What we learned from the forced-abortion case
So pro-lifers suddenly care about the state meddling in women’s affairs?
Ella Whelan, Columnist
4th July 2019
A woman’s decision to have an abortion is a deeply personal and private matter. But one mentally disabled woman living in England had her pregnancy discussed in public at length recently, following a court ruling mandating doctors to abort the pregnancy without her consent, which was later overturned.
The pregnant woman had a ‘moderately severe’ learning disorder and the mental age of a child aged between six and nine. Doctors questioned her ability to handle the psychological toll of childbirth and raising the child. The woman’s mother, her social worker and her lawyers all argued that she was capable of giving birth, and argued that the child’s grandmother would do most of the caregiving. Despite their pleas, the Court of Protection ruled that termination was in the woman’s ‘best interests’. After the case was taken to the Court of Appeal, the ruling was thankfully overturned.
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?
Allowing English women to take the abortion pill at home is good news – and now we're coming for you, Northern Ireland
25 August 2018
As landmark women’s health text Our Bodies, Ourselves put it in 1970, abortion is “our right ... as women to control our own bodies. The existence of any abortion laws (however ‘liberal’) denies this right.”
Those rights are advancing in some parts of the UK, and stalling in others. The latest development is that women in England will soon be able to take an abortion pill at home: a small but significant step forward that many welcome. Yet in Northern Ireland, women still face draconian laws and life in prison for daring to access their reproductive rights.
Women 'illegally taking abortion pill at home'
By Jean Mackenzie
Victoria Derbyshire programme
31 July 2018
Women are illegally taking abortion pills, which they have bought online, at home to avoid enduring abortions on public transport. In England, abortion pills must be administered in a clinic or hospital. For some this means the pill can take effect on their journey home.
Campaigners say women should be able to take the second pill at home, as buying pills online can be dangerous. The Department of Health said it was monitoring the evidence on home use.
Allowing women to take the abortion pill at home would be a great first step for Matt Hancock – and for the NHS
Women, after taking the pill in a clinic, have to race home before their miscarriage starts. They often suffer heavy bleeding and cramping before they get there
July 22, 2018
Let’s get straight to the point. Women need the new health secretary, Matt Hancock, to act now.
If he wants to reverse the damage caused by his predecessor to women’s health and to the NHS in general, he needs to move quickly. Another cabinet reshuffle is only around the corner.