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bpas comment on the RCOG's vote in support of decriminalising abortion

A bpas spokesperson said,

We welcome the decision of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) to support a woman’s right to make her own choice when it comes to her pregnancy and ensure that healthcare professionals do not risk criminal prosecution as they provide women with safe, effective clinical care.

“The College has been clear that decriminalisation of abortion does not mean de-regulation – it simply means that abortion would be governed by the same robust healthcare laws and clinical standards that all other medical procedures are subject to. Indeed it would improve the care offered to women by removing legal obstacles that serve no clinical purpose and act as a barrier to the highest quality, woman-centred care.

“The law as it stands means that many women in Britain could already face prosecution for their actions. Earlier this week it was reported that over 500 women from Britain in a 4 month period had tried to access abortion medication via the internet – often having struggled to access legal care. Few may realise that taking abortion pills without the approval of 2 doctors carries the risk of life in prison. We need abortion provision that is fit for the modern age, providing women with safe and effective medical care, and making clear that we trust them to make the choices that are right for them."

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

RCOG’s press release can be accessed here.

About bpas

bpas is a charity which sees more than 70,000 women a year and provides 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.