BPAS supports public debate on the ethics and morality of abortion
Published 31 October 2008
On Saturday 1st November, as part of the 'Battle of Ideas' public debate weekend, a public audience will hear a major debate on the issue of abortion, with support from the sexual healthcare charity BPAS.
Increasingly the public debate on abortion has been focused on public health and medical arguments, with politicians, campaigners and commentators less willing to take an ethical position on whether abortion is right or wrong.
Anti-abortion campaigners, having lost the moral argument for an outright ban on all abortion, have shifted their focus to issues such as the abortion time limit by claiming they have evidence to show that babies can survive after birth at ever-shorter intervals in the womb, and putting forward contested concepts about the psychological effects of abortion.
Pro-choice campaigners have also been accused of avoiding putting forward the morality of the availability of abortion, by concentrating instead on addressing anti-abortion criticism on medical and scientific issues and failing to make a moral case for the need to have abortion as an option for women.
‘Abortion: the hard arguments’ will see the politics and morality of the abortion discussion debated from contrasting viewpoints, with both sides taking an ethical position on abortion. Speakers will be Ann Furedi, the Chief Executive of the sexual healthcare charity BPAS and Professor John Wyatt, Professor of Ethics and Perinatology, University College London and Chairman of the Christian Medical Fellowship's study group.
Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service said
‘Abortion is a part of modern life; we need it as a back up to contraception if we are to plan our families. It’s time to stop being apologetic and to accept that women need access to safe, legal abortion if they are to play a full part in public life.’
The debate will include questions from the floor and is chaired by Maria Grasso, Politics Lecturer at the University of Oxford.
For information on press attendance please contact Shirley Dent at the Institute of Ideas firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7269 9229. To request an interview with Ann Furedi, please call the BPAS press office on 020 7612 0206 or 07788 725 185. Ann Furedi will be available on the day for interviews.