Ann Furedi runs the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), which provides abortions to nearly 65,000 women a year in England & Wales. Most of these are provided free to women and paid for by NHS. Women travelling from Ireland need to self-fund, but BPAS has a policy of never turning any woman away that it can safely and legally treat. BPAS was established as a charity in 1968 to provide both clinic services and public education. Today, it is known internationally for promoting women’s reproductive choice (www.wetrustwomen.org.uk) and the decriminalisation of abortion.
Furedi has been Chief Executive Officer of BPAS since 2003 and describes it as, “the best job in the world”. She is an unusual CEO, emerging from a background in journalism and advocacy rather than having followed the usual path of business management or accounting. She sometimes describes herself as “gamekeeper turned poacher” since her immediate past appointment was as Director of Policy, Press and Governance for the UK Government’s regulator of embryo research and infertility treatment.
She regards her greatest public achievements as the publication of new book “The Moral Case for Abortion”, and building an organisation that respects women’s right to reproductive choice, and is run by people prepared to stand up for its clients.