Abortion Act

Reflections on the BMA’s vote to ‘decriminalise’ abortion – ten key observations

Last week delegates at the BMA annual representative meeting (ARM) voted to support the decriminalisation of abortion. You can listen to the whole debate here and five brilliant two-minute speeches against the motion here. Two previous blog posts give the background in more detail here and here. The opposition speakers spoke with grace, eloquence and courage but were unable to sway the meeting. Many people may be surprised to know

Over 1,000 doctors reject BMA abortion decriminalisation motion – this is why

Over 1,000 doctors and medical students have signed an open letter urging the British Medical Association (BMA) to reject a motion calling for the complete decriminalisation of abortion. Also, just under 21,000 members of the public have signed a similar petition on Citizen Go. Motion 50, which I have already reviewed in some detail, will be debated at the BMA annual representative meeting in Bournemouth at 10am on Tuesday 27

Doctors debate the complete decriminalisation of abortion at BMA ARM

Doctors could back the complete decriminalisation of abortion in Britain next week. On Tuesday 27 June the British Medical Association annual representative meeting in Bournemouth will vote on a motion seeking to end all legal restrictions on abortion. Currently, abortion remains illegal in Britain under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. Under this law both mothers attempting to abort on their own, or any other person (including doctors) seeking to help them, are

New study threatens midwives’ freedom of conscience on abortion

In the latest bid to circumvent the increasing number of younger doctors being unwilling to perform abortions, a new report has challenged the need for some surgical abortions to be undertaken by doctors at all. Sally Sheldon, a Law Professor at the University of Kent, has published a study into the 1967 Abortion Act and subsequent legal opinions to argue that in the case of vacuum aspiration (VAs), midwives or

Lord Shinkwin’s Abortion (Disability Equality) Bill

In May 2016, Lord Shinkwin, brought his Abortion (Disability Equality) Bill to the House of Lords. Lord Shinkwin, who himself has osteogenesis imperfecta, has been a life peer since 2015 and prior to this spent a number of years in the voluntary sector, working for charities such as RNID, Cancer Research UK and the Royal British legion. His private member’s bill seeks the provision of equality within the 1967 Abortion

Increasing survival of extremely premature babies again raises questions about upper abortion limits

The increasing survival of extremely premature babies is again raising serious questions about the 24 week upper limit for social abortion. On 6 March, Inside Out on BBC One in the East Midlands related how new treatments – including some trialled in Nottingham and Leicester – are helping to limit disabilities and boost life expectancy in premature babies weighing as little as one pound (450g). Last week, under the headline ‘extremely premature

Activists’ attempt to legalise abortion on demand up until birth is both unnecessary and unwanted

A campaign by activists to legalise abortion on demand up until birth hots up again this month, with the first reading of a Ten Minute Rule Bill on 13 March. Labour MP Diana Johnson is introducing a ‘Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Ten Minute Rule Bill. The bill aims ‘to regulate the termination of pregnancies by medical practitioners and to repeal certain criminal offences relating to such terminations; and for