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.
Abortions in England and Wales reach record high
Particularly sharp rise among women aged 30-34, but fewer teenagers are having procedure
Denis Campbell, Health policy editor
Published on Thu 11 Jun 2020
A record number of women in England and Wales had an abortion last year, and numbers rose particularly sharply among women aged 30 and over.
A total of 207,384 procedures were carried out, official figures show, the highest number in a year since the historic vote in 1967 to legalise abortion in Britain through the Abortion Act.
Access to remote abortion services should not be temporary
April 2, 2020
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.
Anti-abortion protests anger Cardiff students
University has been targeted after students’ union adopted official pro-choice stance
Sally Weale, Education correspondent
Thu 30 Jan 2020
Students at Cardiff University have expressed anger after anti-abortion activists returned on the first day of the new term to protest outside the students’ union.
It was the fourth demonstration to be held at the university in recent weeks and again featured large-scale graphic images, which students say cause “undue distress and trauma”.
Only 2 Political Parties Have Pledged To Decriminalise Abortion In England & Wales
By Lauren Sharkey
Nov 27, 2019
Manifestos have been released and election campaigns are well underway. But a closer look at each manifesto has revealed that only two major parties are promising to decriminalise abortion in England and Wales.
Although the 1967 Abortion Act permits abortions up to 24 weeks, the Victorian-era 1861 Offences Against The Person Act was never repealed. This means that abortions performed outside of the Abortion Act's parameters are technically punishable by a lengthy prison sentence. (Both the person having the abortion and the people assisting it are at risk of criminal prosecution.)
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.
RCOG response to latest abortion statistics in England and Wales
News 13 June 2019
The Department of Health and Social Care published statistics today which show the number of abortions carried out in England and Wales is at its highest level.
There were 200,608 abortions in 2018, an increase of 4% on the previous year.
Overall, abortion rates have increased in the last decade for all women over the age of 25. Less than half (48%) of abortions were to women who had already had one or more previous births.
Derry Girls join Northern Ireland abortion protest
Cast members march on Westminster to lobby secretary of state for change in law
Tue 26 Feb 2019
Stars of the hit television show Derry Girls have joined a group of female MPs in a march on Westminster calling for the extension of abortion rights to Northern Ireland.
The women, including the actors Siobhan McSweeney and Nicola Coughlan, formed part of a group of 28 to symbolise the number of people who leave Northern Ireland for England and Wales each week to have an abortion.
Wales Offers Free Abortions To Northern Ireland Residents, & Here’s What That Means
By Morgan Brinlee
Nov 10, 2018
Earlier this year, reproductive rights advocates celebrated a major victory when the Republic of Ireland repealed a constitutional amendment banning abortion. But while Ireland embraced reproductive rights, abortion has remained largely illegal in the autonomous region of Northern Ireland. Meaning, women living in Northern Ireland who wish to obtain an abortion must travel outside of the province, often incurring costly expenses. But other parts of the United Kingdom are now stepping up to help those in Northern Ireland better access reproductive rights. Wales will offer free abortions to Northern Ireland residents, the country's health secretary announced Friday.
"Our view has always been [that] a woman from Northern Ireland, in Wales, should be able to access termination of pregnancy on the same basis as women in Wales," the BBC reported Welsh Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said in a statement released Friday.
The New Way People In Northern Ireland Are Campaigning For Abortion Reform
1 September 2018
The dire need for abortion reform in Northern Ireland has become even more pressing since Ireland's historic vote to overturn its abortion ban in May. Pro-choice campaigners say women in Ulster are now treated as "second-class citizens" next to women in Ireland as well as women in the rest of the UK.
It's not difficult to grasp their point. While women in England will soon be able to take an abortion pill at home, and women in Scotland and Wales already can, women in Northern Ireland still face a life sentence for having an abortion.