From America with cash: Right-wing groups want to end abortion in the UK

A right-wing political and media ecosystem pushing a US-style anti-abortion agenda is gaining traction in the UK

Sian Norris
19 April 2024

Conservative MPs, hard-right media personalities, and US-backed Christian anti-abortion charities are working to spread their anti-abortion agenda ahead of a parliamentary debate on legislation that would stop women being imprisoned for terminating a pregnancy after 24 weeks.

Emboldened by their success in the United States with the Dobbs decision – the 2022 Supreme Court decision that overturned the right to safe and legal abortion in the US – groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Edmund Burke Foundation are now seeking to rollback progress on reproductive rights around the world.


On abortion culture wars, Britain takes a different path

As the U.S. grapples with abortion limits, British lawmakers propose scrapping all legal penalties.

APRIL 8, 2024

LONDON — England’s abortion laws could be headed for an overhaul. Brits probably won’t be taking to the streets.

As the United States continues to grapple with the divisive fallout of the 2022 Supreme Court ruling which overturned Roe v. Wade and so ended the federal right to abortion, British lawmakers are gearing up to have their own debate on the hot-button issue.


UK – MPs propose decriminalising abortion up to 24 weeks

Amendment tabled by cross-party group including Stella Creasy is latest plan to modernise abortion law in England and Wales

Eleni Courea, Political correspondent
Mon 8 Apr 2024

A cross-party group of MPs is proposing to make abortion access a human right in England and Wales, putting forward legislation that would decriminalise abortion up to 24 weeks and introduce protections against access being stripped back.

Proposals to modernise abortion law have been made in the form of amendments to the government’s criminal justice bill, which is due to be debated after parliament returns from its Easter recess later this month. The Commons speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, will choose which ones are voted on. MPs are expected to be given a free vote.


‘Extreme’ US anti-abortion group ramps up lobbying in Westminster

The UK branch of the Alliance Defending Freedom has increased its spending and is forging ties with key MPs

Shanti Das, Home affairs correspondent
Sat 6 Apr 2024

A rightwing Christian lobby group that wants abortion to be banned has forged ties with an adviser to the prime minister and is drawing up ­policy briefings for politicians.

The UK branch of the US-based Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has more than doubled its spending since 2020 and been appointed a stakeholder in a parliamentary group on religious freedoms in a role that grants it direct access to MPs.


Creasy accuses anti-abortion activists of ‘persistent’ personal harassment

Exclusive: ‘Some of the commentary is all about me being held to account by a god, and having my day in hell,’ MP says

Maya Oppenheim
Feb 11, 2024

US-funded anti-abortion activists have begun a crusade of harassment against high-profile Labour campaigner Stella Creasy, targeting her in a “persistent and sustained” pattern, accusing her of “killing babies”.

Speaking to The Independent in an exclusive interview, Stella Creasy said she is facing “a bonfire of abuse” from anti-abortion ideologues on social media in punishment for campaigning on abortion rights.

The Labour MP for Walthamstow said protesters have harassed nearby residents and leafletted her constituency with graphic imagery.


UK – Ministers accused of watering down rules around abortion clinic buffer zones

Campaigners could still be allowed to conduct silent prayers and approach women attending clinics in England and Wales

Rowena Mason Whitehall editor
Wed 17 Jan 2024

Ministers have been accused of watering down guidance around new buffer zones outside abortion clinics in England and Wales, after it emerged campaigners could still be allowed to conduct silent prayers and approach women attending clinics to discuss the issue.

New draft guidance published by the Home Office has caused alarm among people who campaigned for the 150-metre safe zones, due to be introduced in the spring.


UK anti-abortion charity with links to MPs ran misleading Facebook ads

Right to Life UK boosted its spend on the social media platform tenfold in three years

Sian Norris and Manasa Narayanan
Sat 16 Dec 2023

A leading UK anti-abortion charity with ties to MPs and peers has increased its Facebook advertising spend more than tenfold in three years, spending nearly £190,000 on advertising campaigns.

In a joint investigation, the Observer and the Citizens analysed the spend and content of hundreds of Facebook ads paid for by Right to Life UK between June 2020 and November 2023. The findings reveal the charity – which provides the secretariat for the Pro-Life All Party Parliamentary Group – spent an average of £117,000 in 2023, an increase from an average £11,400 in 2020, £16,900 in 2021 and £43,600 in 2022.


‘This Victorian-era law isn’t fit for purpose’: Is abortion finally going to be decriminalised?

People who get an abortion beyond legal time limits can face criminal prosecution in England and Wales. Labour MPs are out to change that

2 Dec 2023

Abortion could soon be decriminalised in England and Wales, as MPs consider overhauling a “cruel” 162-year-old law.

People who get an abortion beyond legal time limits can face criminal prosecution in England and Wales.

Five women have faced this charge in English courts over the past year – up from four in total over the previous 55 years.


MPs Could Vote On Decriminalising Abortion In England And Wales

Zoe Crowther
27 November 2023

MPs will get the chance to vote on decriminalising abortion in England and Wales, with a Labour MP expected to table an amendment this week.

Backbench Labour MP Stella Creasy will put forward an amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill on Tuesday that will give MPs an opportunity to vote on decriminalising abortion, PoliticsHome understands.


UK – Parliament must vote to decriminalise abortion

Stella Creasy MP
27 November, 2023

When Roe v Wade was repealed in America last year, many voices in the UK were quick to dismiss concerns that restrictions on a woman’s basic right to choose could ever happen here, and assumed that our right to access abortion services was secure and reflected the settled will of the people.

At the same time, multiple women were awaiting trial, under a law older than the nation of Germany, for the offence of having an abortion. In contrast to Northern Ireland, abortion in England and Wales remains a criminal offence, with only a few closely defined circumstances in which people are exempt from prosecution.