GIBRALTAR – Gibraltar government will not consider abortion law reform but pro-choice group calls for referendum

Pro-choice campaigners hoped the Irish referendum result would put pressure on the Gibraltar government, but it seems it will not, at least in the short run. A government spokeswoman was quoted in the media as saying: “We have already dealt with progressive issues like civil partnerships and equal marriage… The Cabinet has not considered changing this [abortion] policy.” She added that they did not have a mandate to change the law as it was not … Continued

UK – Royal College of Nurses survey ‘signals support’ for decriminalisation of abortion

  Members of the Royal College of Nursing have “signalled support” for removing criminal sanctions from the UK’s legislation on abortion, in the wake of a consultation. The College revealed today that the results of a UK-wide poll of their members showed 73.7% of respondents had voted in favour of removing criminal sanctions from legislation relating to abortion. Nearly 3,000 people responded to the survey, giving an overall response rate equivalent to 1% of the … Continued

ISLE OF MAN – Abortion law reform bill passed by House of Keys

Under existing Manx law, until this month, abortion was permitted only if a pregnancy was the result of rape or because of mental health concerns. In September 2016, the Campaign for Abortion Law Modernisation (CALM) was launched to advocate for the Isle of Man’s abortion law to be brought into line with the UK, as a crown dependency. A wide-ranging group of people supported their campaign, including member of parliament Dr Alex Allinson, who became … Continued

ENGLAND – Abortion clinic buffer zone imposed by Ealing Council in London

A 100m buffer zone will be created around the Marie Stopes Clinic in west London to stop vigils being held outside the building and harassment and bullying of women and staff entering and leaving the clinic. One source has said a fine would also be charged for an offence. More than 300 people wrote to the council describing the pro-life protesters as “intimidating and harassing”. The London Borough of Ealing’s Council unanimously voted to implement … Continued

WALES & NORTHERN IRELAND – Women should be able to take abortion pills at home, says Jenny Rathbone, Welsh Assembly Member

In October 2017, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer wrote to all health boards to say that misoprostol can be used by women outside of a clinical setting after use of mifepristone for early abortion. The change brings Scotland in line with other countries such as Sweden, France and the USA. In Wales, it is still illegal to do so, meaning that mifepristone and misoprostol 1-2 days later still both have to be taken in the clinic … Continued

Gibraltar – part of the UK but like Northern Ireland, excluded from Britain’s abortion law

Gibraltar is a peninsula hanging off the edge of Spain, separated from Spain by an airport runway, belonging to the UK but excluded from British abortion law. Gibraltar is governed by a 2011 law that is based on the 1861 Offences against the Person Act, which calls for life imprisonment for anyone seeking an abortion or anyone aiding someone else to do so. Two women’s groups have recently become active in Gibraltar as regards abortion. … Continued

UK – Who decides? We trust women. Abortion in the developing world and the UK

This report was released on the evening of 7 March for International Women’s Day at a reception at the House of Lords in London, hosted by Baroness Jenny Tonge, Chairwoman of the UK Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health. The report was based on a series of papers presented to the APPG by a long list of experts during the week of 20 November 2017. In the Foreword, Baroness Tonge said: … Continued

GREAT BRITAIN – Documenting the harassment of anti-abortion protests

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) is a charity that offers abortion care, contraception, STI testing, miscarriage management, and pregnancy counselling to nearly 80,000 women each year via clinics in England, Wales, and Scotland. As part of their advocacy work, they have been running the Back Off campaign to introduce legal buffer zones around abortion clinics and pregnancy advisory bureaux since 2014, based on evidence collected from their clients that protests outside clinics are distressing … Continued

NORTHERN IRELAND / UK – CEDAW find that the UK violates the rights of women in Northern Ireland by unduly restricting access to abortion

The Northern Ireland Alliance for Choice has welcomed the report of the CEDAW Inquiry, published on 23 February 2018, which was launched following a submission to CEDAW in 2015 by three Northern Irish groups – the Family Planning Association, Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform, and Alliance for Choice. The submission argued that in NI: “assisting with or procuring an abortion is criminalised, punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and the availability of abortion … Continued

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