Clare Murphy, Director of External Affairs at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said:
“We are delighted that the RCGP has voted in support of the decriminalisation of abortion across the UK. Abortion does not belong in the criminal law, and it is simply appalling that today women can still face prosecution and prison for ending a pregnancy under laws dating back more than 150 years. The situation for women in Northern Ireland is dire and decriminalisation of abortion is now a matter of urgency. Yet even elsewhere in the UK, where the 1967 Abortion Act applies, the criminal law surrounding abortion still puts needless barriers in the way of women accessing the care they need, threatening their health and wellbeing. Decriminalisation does not mean deregulation, but it does mean abortion services could be delivered in accordance with the same robust laws and frameworks that govern all other healthcare procedures, with women’s needs centre-stage. There is strong parliamentary support for decriminalisation across the UK and we look forward to women finally being able to access an abortion service fit for the 21st century, from Belfast to Brighton.”
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Notes to Editors:
bpas is a charity which sees more than 80,000 women a year for reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception, at clinics across the UK. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. More information can be found at bpas.org.