The My Pledge, Her Choice campaign calls on all elected MPs to commit that they will:
1. Protect clinic access and funding for all UK women.
Over recent years there has been an increase in anti-abortion activity outside UK clinics. Women report feeling distressed and intimidated by these groups, some of whom carry graphic banners, wear cameras strapped to their chests, and distribute misleading and upsetting leaflets about abortion. Sadly, this is not the only reason why women may be unable to attend clinics. Women resident in Northern Ireland are denied abortion care in their own country, and, despite being UK citizens, are also denied NHS-funded abortion treatment in Great Britain. Whether resident in Belfast or Brighton, we want MPs to commit to tackling the barriers to abortion access for all women across the UK.
2. Oppose parliamentary attacks on abortion rights
We live in a pro-choice country where the majority of the public support a woman’s right to choose. Indeed, polling suggests that the British public support a more progressive abortion law than we currently have. Despite this, anti-abortion MPs regularly propose measures to restrict abortion rights further. We ask MPs to commit to opposing all such attacks on women’s hard-earned reproductive rights.
3. Support further moves to decriminalise abortion, in line with the Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill 2017
Under a law passed in 1861, any woman in the UK who ends a pregnancy at any gestation without the authorisation of two doctors faces up to life imprisonment. The 1967 Abortion Act did not repeal this law, but provided therapeutic exemptions to protect women and doctors from prosecution providing that the woman meets certain criteria and that her request is approved by two doctors. Any woman who ends a pregnancy outside of the Act can still be prosecuted under the 1861 Act. This includes vulnerable women in desperate situations who resort to using abortion medication purchased online. In March, the Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill 2017, which sought to decriminalize abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy in England and Wales and was co-sponsored by MPs from all parties, passed its first stage. Unfortunately, the bill ran out of time. We are asking MPs to commit to supporting similar legislation when it is raised again in the new parliament.