Abortion rights are under attack again – and we have less than a week to mobilise to defend them.
Anti-abortionists have put amendments to the government’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill that seek to limit women’s access to abortion. MPs will vote on the bill and amendments on Wednesday 22 October.
They include introducing a compulsory seven-day “cooling off” period and forcing women to undergo counselling that details the “risks” of abortion. They are an attack on a woman’s right to choose.
Women who have mental health issues or are young and in denial about their pregnancy are the ones who already find accessing abortion services more difficult.
These are the women who will be hit hardest if the amendments are passed.
Anti-abortion amendments were defeated in the House of Commons last May. The vast majority of people in Britain support a woman’s right to choose.
Activists have the chance to force MPs to extend abortion rights on 22 October as pro-choice amendments have also been tabled.
These include removing the requirement for women seeking abortion to obtain two doctors’ signatures and extending the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland.
These changes would make a huge difference to the lives of thousands of women. We must seize this opportunity.
Pro-choice activists should urgently spread the word, contact their MPs to make sure they vote to defend and extend abortion rights. Trade unionists should lobby their union-sponsored MPs to vote according to their union’s policy on abortion.
The Abortion Rights campaign has called a protest outside parliament on Tuesday 21 October from 5.30pm. We need to build a big turnout to stop the anti-abortionists turning back the clock on women’s rights. Sadie Robinson
For campaigning materials and further information go to » www.abortionrights.org.uk