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         March 2017


Abortion on demand campaign launched

A campaign has been launched by Women’s Equality Party for abortion to be removed from the justice statutes and decriminalised. The party believes that abortion should be made a sexual health and human rights issue and that the law, established in 1861, where a life sentence can be handed down for having an abortion without the consent of two doctors, should be abolished. The removal of sections 58 and 59 of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act would decriminalise abortions for any reason up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Labour MP Diana Johnson will present her ten-minute Bill to introduce these amendments to Parliament on 13th March 2017. Johnson has claimed that the Bill will not change abortion limits in any way but the 'We Trust Women' campaign has stated that “The abortion time limit would be removed from criminal law” and Ann Furedi, CEO of BPAS (British Advisory Pregnancy Service), who has spoken out in support of the campaign, has said, "there should be no legal upper limit, that is what taking it out of the criminal law means.” (As quoted by Citizen Go).

Fiorella Nash from SPUC (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) has commented saying "The Women's Equality Party's abortion fundamentalism is rather at odds with its claim that 'we stand for every woman, and we start by listening'. Perhaps the Women's Equality Party could start by listening to the views of women who see abortion for what it is: a barbaric procedure which exploits women and destroys innocent life. The fight for full equality for women is far from over, but abortion is a symptom of the continuing injustices faced by women not a sign of empowerment." (As quoted by SPUC)

Over 1000 midwives, maternity support workers and student midwives have signed a letter to RCM (Royal College of Midwives) calling for their Board to withdraw RCM's support for this abortion-on-demand campaign. They are demanding that RCM consults its members for their views on this disputable issue. More information about the midwives' campaign can be found at the 'Not In Our Name' website.