Scotland – Abortion rules revolutionised by Covid-19 must stay

Jillian Merchant
Monday December 21 2020

At the start of the pandemic the Scottish government, at the urging of medical practitioners and activists, issued guidance allowing early medical abortion at home to prevent unnecessary risk to women and clinicians.

This enabled women in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to attend medical appointments by telephone or video call before, where clinically appropriate, being sent the two abortion pills to take at home. This is now subject to a public consultation on making the change permanent.


Edinburgh students launch campaign to ban protesters outside abortion clinics

Edinburgh University students have launched a new campaign to ban protesters gathering outside city abortion clinics.

By Jolene Campbell
Monday, 16th November 2020

The campaign ‘Back Off Chalmers’ is calling for buffer zones to be set up to stop pro-life groups targeting women who going for treatment at the Chalmers Sexual Health Centre.

After services start up again after lockdown, campaigners say visitors to the Centre have been targeted by groups who pray outside the clinics, give out leaflets and approach women entering the clinic. Students who have set up the new anti-harassment campaign say the protests intimidates women.


Religious zealots only show why abortion should be legal

By Suzanne McLaughlin
22nd August

LAST week a 10-year-old Brazilian girl wearing a little flowery dress and cheap
flip-flops was bundled into a car boot clutching her fluffy toy frog. She was
driven through a back door to a hospital guarded by military police past a
throng of right-wing and religious extremists in order to have a termination.

Abortion is allowed in Brazil in just three instances: to save a woman’s life,
if it is the result of rape and if the child is dead. This little girl was
living through two of these circumstances. She was a victim of rape and her
life was in imminent danger and so the judge in her home area ruled that the
abortion should go ahead.


Decriminalising abortion is a long road. Campaigners Vicky Spratt and Diane Munday would know.

Decriminalising abortion is a long road. Campaigners Vicky Spratt and Diane Munday would know.

By Rachel Thompson
Jun 18, 2020

Vicky Spratt and Diane Munday are campaigning to decriminalise abortion in England, Scotland, and Wales.

Diane Munday campaigned to legalise abortion in Britain in the 1960s. Her activism has not only changed women’s lives in this country — but saved them. Along with journalist Vicky Spratt, Munday is fighting for the decrimalisation of abortion in England and Wales. Spratt has also changed the law. Her #MakeRentingFair campaign resulted in the government banning letting agency fees for tenants.


Scotland – Dundee charity boss concerned for women who experience abortion or miscarriage during ‘isolating’ lockdown

Dundee charity boss concerned for women who experience abortion or miscarriage during ‘isolating’ lockdown

by Frances Rougvie
April 25, 2020

The boss of a Dundee charity has said she is “concerned” for the emotional wellbeing of women who have experienced a miscarriage or abortion during the coronavirus lockdown.

Rachel MacDonald, centre manager of Alternatives Dundee, has urged those in need to reach out during this “very isolating time”.

As a result of Covid-19, women across Scotland can now have early medical abortions at home, to help reduce the number of people attending clinics and avoid exposing them to the virus.


UK – Access to remote abortion services should not be temporary

Access to remote abortion services should not be temporary

April 2, 2020
BMJ Blogs

Remote abortion care should always be offered to ensure the health of women, irrespective of whether there is a pandemic, argue Elizabeth Chloe Romanis and Jordan Parsons

On 30 March 2020, the Department of Health and Social Care liberalised abortion regulations, allowing women in England to be consulted about abortion care remotely and to take both abortion medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, at home. This same change had already been made the previous week, but was then revoked within a couple of hours. The Scottish and Welsh governments both followed suit on 31 March 2020 and have also authorised the remote prescription of abortion pills and for both pills to be taken at home. Before these interventions, women were required to attend clinics in order to access treatment that could have safely been provided remotely—a stance that was paradoxical during the pandemic.


Abortion Still Isn’t Fully Decriminalised In England & Wales — This Campaign Wants To Change That

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.


Glasgow Council’s abortion protest buffer zone report overdue

Glasgow Council's abortion protest buffer zone report overdue

By Tamsin Selbie, BBC Scotland
23 March 2019

A pledge to look at how to implement "buffer zones" outside abortion clinics at Glasgow hospitals has missed its deadline, BBC Scotland has learned.

Glasgow City Council passed a motion in June last year backing the safe spaces "to protect women from obstruction or harassment when accessing services".

The move gained cross-party support and a report on how it could be done was promised by the end of last year.


Scotland – SRC forced to affiliate anti-choice group after threat of lawsuit

SRC forced to affiliate anti-choice group after threat of lawsuit

Published 20 March, 2019
Laurie Clarke, Editor

The SRC have no option but to affiliate the anti-choice society Glasgow Students for Life following threats of legal action. The anti-abortion society threatened to sue the SRC for discrimination after they were denied affiliation in December 2018. The SRC have since sought legal advice to defend their decision, but have been advised that as anti-choice beliefs are considered a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, there is no legal basis to fight the lawsuit.

SRC affiliation entitles societies to apply for SRC funding and use SRC promotional materials, but it is not required to allow societies to meet and speak on campus, and the decision not to affiliate GSL did not constitute a ban. The SRC voted against affiliation in an overwhelming majority, 29 council members voting against affiliation and three members abstaining.


Scotland – Anti-abortion campaign back in court over home terminations

Anti-abortion campaign back in court over home terminations
The group has appealed against a ruling rejecting their legal challenge to the Scottish Government allowing at home abortions.

Dec 17, 2018

A campaign group which lost its legal challenge over the Scottish Government’s move to allow pregnant women to take abortion pills at home will return to court for an appeal hearing.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) argued the decision by ministers to enable women to drug misoprostol to induce abortion at home, was “unlawful” and a threat to women’s health.