UK – Let’s keep sending pills by post

During the pandemic women were allowed to take abortion pills at home. This must continue.

2nd February 2022

The Covid crisis, and everything it meant for the NHS, delivered one excellent change for women: abortion pills by post following an online consultation and counselling with a doctor. Exactly a year ago, the government held a public consultation on whether providing this medication by post should continue when the pandemic ends. The approach taken by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service in its response to the consultation, in which BPAS clearly outlined the benefits of pills by post, was mirrored by every healthcare organisation.

And yet now, leaks from officials in the Department of Health and Social Care suggest the health secretary plans to remove the regulations allowing telemedicine services for abortion. This would be nothing less than a retreat from reason.


Opinion – Only women have abortions

Womanhood is a question of material reality, not identity.

Ann Furedi
30th September 2021

Following a barrage of criticism, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has apologised for revising an iconic speech by the late Supreme Court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to fit with today’s woke-speak.

At RBG’s confirmation hearing in 1993, a time when anti-choice activism was rife in the US, she was asked about her position on abortion. She did not mince her words:


UK – Heidi Carter should not judge pregnant women’s decisions

Aborting a fetus with Down’s syndrome says nothing about how society views disabled people. It is a matter of choice.

9th July 2021

Heidi Carter is a talented and able young woman. She also has Down’s syndrome. This week she launched a legal challenge which, if successful, would lower the time limit for abortions when there is a high risk of serious disability. Carter believes that it is morally wrong for any woman to decide to end her pregnancy to avoid the birth of a child with disabilities or genetic conditions.

In 2020, almost 300 women who had abortions stated Down’s syndrome as the primary reason. For these women, and for others where a serious fetal anomaly is indicated, there is no time limit. Heidi Carter believes this is offensive to people with disabilities – and she is entitled to hold that view. As a person with a disability she has insight into what it feels like to have that disability. But it gives her no authority to stand in judgement on pregnant women’s decisions.


British provider to post abortion pills to ensure Northern Irish women have access during pandemic

British provider to post abortion pills to ensure Northern Irish women have access during pandemic
It said that under Northern Irish law it was only legally permitted to provide abortion for the purpose of preventing grave, permanent injury to the woman's physical or mental health

Amanda Ferguson, Reuters
April 9, 2020

BELFAST — Britain’s leading provider of abortions said it will offer abortion pills to women in Northern Ireland by post to avoid them having to travel to England by ferry now that the coronavirus pandemic has closed air traffic.

Although abortion was decriminalized in Northern Ireland last year, it remains unavailable in the British region after the local health ministry missed an April 1 deadline to begin providing terminations.


Abortion provision thrown into doubt by coronavirus pandemic

Abortion provision thrown into doubt by coronavirus pandemic

By Laura Smith-Spark, Valentina Di Donato and Stephanie Halasz, CNN
March 27, 2020

London (CNN)As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, women's access to abortion is one of many healthcare provisions thrown into jeopardy.

The UK government caused confusion this week when it first announced that women would temporarily be allowed to access early medical abortion at home, rather than attending a clinic -- and then, hours later, reversed its decision.


Coronavirus is making abortion access more difficult in the UK

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).


What’s been happening in Ireland & International Women’s Day in Norway

FEATURE: What's been happening in Ireland & International Women’s Day in Norway

International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
18 March 2019

In the midst of the continuing shower of news from all over the world that I share with you, I’ve been collecting stories for a feature on Ireland. This is not a definitive piece, that will come from those who have been on the frontlines, but is based primarily on written information from a few key people and what has been in the media. This history describes an almost unique series of events, and one worth learning from. It’s a story of optimism winning over pessimism, of passionate positive action breaking down out-of-date barriers, and particularly of women’s personal stories, doorstep advocacy, highly visible supportive doctors and policymakers, all working with government to change the mindset of a nation and win a critical mass of support. They successfully created a sea-change in law, policy and service delivery in the blink of an eye. Edited by Marge Berer

The story in a nutshell
It took only seven months from the referendum that repealed the 8th Amendment to the Constitution in May 2018 for the law to be changed, providers trained, methods approved and ordered, and abortion services to become available officially in Ireland on 2 January 2019, free for everyone who is covered by existing schemes, such as the Maternity and Infant Care Scheme.


UK – Women will soon be allowed to take an abortion pill at home for the first time

Women will soon be allowed to take an abortion pill at home for the first time

By Lynsey Hope
25th August 2018

WOMEN will soon be allowed to take an abortion pill at home for the first time.

The landmark move was welcomed by ­campaigners who said that visiting a clinic can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety.


UK – Abortion pills are safe and simple

Abortion pills are safe and simple
So why won’t the government let women in England take them at home?

Ann Furedi, Chief executive, BPAS
1 August 2018

The government may claim its health service has a commitment to evidence-based treatment, but it is shamefully blind to the evidence when it comes to abortion.

Britain was among the very first countries to allow early medical abortion in hospitals and clinics when it became available more than two decades ago. It now trails behind almost every other country in allowing women to use abortion pills in a sensible, safe and evidence-based way.


UK – Buffer zones are not an attack on free speech

Buffer zones are not an attack on free speech

Ann Furedi, CEO, bpas
12 April 2018

The decision by Ealing Council in London to introduce a buffer zone around a local abortion clinic feels like a bitter-sweet victory. Since launching the Back Off campaign, bpas has worked long and hard to help win this victory, submitting 150 accounts from women and local residents of their experience of anti-abortion activists trying to ‘change women’s minds’ outside the clinic. We support the right of patients to receive, and of clinic staff to deliver, legal, NHS-funded care, free of interference from outsiders driven by their belief that abortion is wrong. The indignity of being pestered to account for your personal, moral decision to a stranger as you enter a medical clinic is an unmeasurable burden. But we also support free speech and the right to protest. We understand the concerns of civil-rights groups such as Liberty, who object that Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) are increasingly used to criminalise non-criminal activity and to victimise the homeless.