England Leads Way in UK after U-Turn on COVID-19 Abortion Access
Rest of UK, Europe Should Follow
March 31, 2020
Hillary Margolis, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division
The UK’s Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed it will allow women in England temporarily to manage medical abortions at home in light of the lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health authorities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales – and governments across Europe – should swiftly follow suit.
The welcome decision follows outrage and confusion last week after the government announced the change only to reverse it hours later.
State control over women's bodies is an unforeseen outcome of the coronavirus crisis
A U-turn on women’s ability to access home abortions and the cancellation of IVF means they have less say over their fertility
Sun 29 Mar 2020
It’s been quite a week to have a womb in the UK.
First, pregnant women were suddenly categorised as vulnerable, and advised to stay home by the government. But then some of them were told to come back into work by their employers – including the riskiest of all, the NHS.
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.”
Abortion: Health bodies want laws for 'safe and compassionate' care
By Marie-Louise Connolly, BBC News NI Health Correspondent
Feb 5, 2029
Health bodies have recommended a legal framework be set up to "prioritise safe and compassionate abortion care" in NI.
They include the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the Royal College of Midwives and the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare.
The groups agree there should be no abortion restrictions up to 24 weeks.
How Our Government Has Betrayed Women Seeking Abortions
8 October 2019
All over England and Wales, abortion clinics are being targeted by anti-choice, anti-abortion and, ultimately, anti-women protestors. It often goes unreported and the scenes witnessed by clinic staff, pro-choice activists and service users alike are fraught.
In 2018, Ealing council became the first to implement a no-protest 'buffer zone' around the Marie Stopes West London clinic. That buffer zone prevents anti-abortion protestors from coming within 100 metres of the clinic. The move was hailed as a huge and hopeful step forward for the protection of women seeking abortion services against a backdrop of abuse.
She helped her 15 year old get an abortion. Now she's facing charges in Northern Ireland
By Haley Ott
June 26, 2019
London -- A woman is facing criminal charges in Northern Ireland for getting her 15-year-old daughter abortion pills to end an unwanted pregnancy in 2013. The woman's lawyer says the police were alerted after the daughter, who was in an abusive relationship, told a therapist she had taken the pills. The woman's legal team is challenging the prosecution.
Abortion is against the law in Northern Ireland except when a pregnant woman's health is at risk of permanent harm. There are no exceptions in cases of rape or incest. Women who have illegal abortions can face up to life in prison if caught, and medical professionals are required to report anyone who has had one to the authorities.
BBC provides abortion information after Call the Midwife row
BBC had said it could not offer advice because abortion was a ‘contentious’ issue
Sun 17 Feb 2019
The BBC has said it will give viewers information about abortion after it was criticised following an episode of the popular drama Call the Midwife.
Women complained that no information was provided on the BBC Action Line after an episode, broadcast this month, in which a patient died following an illegal backstreet abortion.
BBC drops ban on giving abortion advice after Call the Midwife row
Caroline Wheeler and Nicholas Hellen
February 17 2019
The BBC has bowed to pressure to provide viewers with information about abortion after two ministers intervened in a row sparked by an episode of the drama series Call the Midwife.
Penny Mordaunt, the women and equalities minister, and Jackie Doyle-Price, a health minister, wrote to the BBC to complain about its initial refusal to provide information about terminations after the February 3 episode in which a character died after a backstreet abortion.
The BBC should treat abortion as a healthcare procedure, not just a plot point for Call the Midwife
The BBC, rightly, has links on its website to advice from organisations like Stonewall, Mind and Beat. So why did it refuse to link to abortion advice?
15 February 2019
By Glosswitch, BBC
As the saying goes, you can’t be a little bit pregnant: you’re either gestating a new life at enormous cost and potential risk to your physical and mental wellbeing, or you’re not. As far as this experience goes, there is no middle ground.
Similarly, you’re either in favour of women being forced to remain pregnant against their will, or you’re not. The alternative to safe, legal abortion is not the absence of abortion; it’s the torture of compulsory gestation, or it’s illegal, unsafe abortion. There is no neutral option, no world in which unwanted pregnancies must neither continue nor end.
Women allowed to take abortion pill at home in Wales
29 June 2018
A decision to allow women to take abortion pills at home in Wales has been welcomed as a "significant" move.
Until now they have had to take two trips to clinics to take medication to terminate the pregnancy, sometimes miles from home.
A charity said women had experienced cramping and bleeding, at times on public transport, trying to get home after taking the pill.