“The battle for women’s rights and freedom is a long one, and reproductive choice is one of the cornerstones of gender equality. We have travelled a great distance, but there is a huge way still to go – in the years to come we must be able to push further.”
Ann Furedi – BPAS CEO
At BPAS we have shown a 50 year commitment to protecting and extending reproductive rights, helping defeat the legislation that would have pushed us back and, more importantly, helping, hundreds of thousands of women access safe and legal abortion care as well as a wide range of other sexual and reproductive healthcare and information.
Fifty years ago an unplanned pregnancy was a source of shame; an abortion was expensive, illegal and nowhere near as safe as it is today – and a child at the wrong time damaged many thousands of lives. The inspirational activism of the women that fought to change the law, along with organisations such as BPAS which provide safe services and accurate advice mean that this is no longer the case.
Things are undoubtedly better than they used to be, but there is still a great deal that needs to be done. Women from both parts of Ireland are still subject to draconian laws that force them to travel for treatment, break the law or continue a pregnancy they don’t want. Protesters still intimidate and harass women and medical staff outside clinics on a daily basis. Most fundamentally, a woman still needs the permission of two doctors to end her pregnancy and is not trusted to know her own mind and make her own choices.
These are long term commitments and commitments we are happy to make. But we need people to join with us and we need to have long term confidence in our income. This is why leaving a legacy to BPAS is so important and I hope you will choose to do so.
Including BPAS in your will is really straightforward and one of the most important things you can do to support reproductive rights in the UK. Any gift, large or small makes our cause stronger and we would be very grateful.
It is crucial to seek professional advice from a solicitor or will writer when making or changing a will. They can ensure it is correctly written in a way that respects your intentions, and protects the rights of your family and other people you want to support through it. They can also advise on areas such as inheritance tax and how to choose an executor.
Once you have provided for your loved ones you can include BPAS in the following ways:
A percentage of your estate (known as a residuary gifts) - residuary gifts are an excellent way of supporting your favourite causes in the way you intend. Often a will is written many years before death and in that time the value of an estate can go up and down dramatically. By expressing your gift as a percentage of your estate you ensure it keeps the relative value you intended.
A fixed amount (known as a pecuniary gift) - a pecuniary gift would specify a fixed amount of money – eg £1500 that you intended BPAS to get on your death.
Your solicitor can provide wording to ensure your intentions are properly reflected.
BPAS should be included using our registered address, legal name and registered charity number. This helps your executor ensure that your money is sent to BPAS as you intended. The details are as follows:
British Pregnancy Advisory Service – Registered Charity 289145
20 Timothy’s Bridge Road, Stratford Enterprise Park, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 9BF
We would hope that there is a significant passage of time between you making your will and any money coming to us. BPAS is confident we will be providing services to women and campaigning on reproductive choice issues for decades to come. However the exact nature of these campaigns and our priorities are likely to change over time and if you specify how we use any gift, it may be impossible for us to honour that request and we would be unable to take your money and reflect your intentions.
The contents of your will are personal and you are under no obligation to reveal them to anyone. However, we recommend that you tell your partner, children or grand children about the charitable bequests you intend to make.
We would also love it if you were to tell us. Most importantly it gives us the opportunity to thank you properly for what is a hugely generous thing to do, but knowing how many legacies we can expect to receive in future years also helps with our planning.
If you would like to know more about leaving a legacy to BPAS, please contact Clare Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 0207 061 3377. However, we cannot recommend specific solicitors, will writers or offer legal advice.