Britain is still backward on abortion law

Thursday, 7th July

Pro abortion protest_US Courthouse_Manhattan_credit_legoktm_CC BY-SA 4

May pro-abortion protest outside the US Courthouse, Manhattan [Legoktm Creative Commons 4.0 International]

• I NOTED with some dismay that the letter from 28 councillors in support of women’s rights in the USA over abortion, failed to mention the rights – or lack of them – of women in the United Kingdom, (We stand in solidarity with women and marginalised communities all across America, June 30).

Contrary to belief, women in Britain do not have the right on demand to an abortion, a fact which does not simply extend to Northern Ireland.

Although the Abortion Act 1967 made termination of pregnancy legal in the UK, it did so on provision that a woman gain permission from two doctors.

These medical professionals have the right to deny a woman an abortion if they feel there will be no physical or mental detriment to the woman or foetus.

The result is a humiliating trial for any woman or girl seeking an abortion, who, in many cases, needs to feign a mental illness to gain the doctors’ approval as the law automatically denies her an automatic right to a termination of pregnancy.

The failure to permit a woman or girl the right to her own opinion about her body, shows just how backward Britain still is when it comes to the rights of biological women.

It is all too easy for these councillors to stand in solidarity with women across America. But what about demanding a change in the law back home to make abortion-on-demand freely available to all women in the UK, no questions asked, within the legal timespan?

Our autonomy, freedom and independence depends on it.

DR ECCY DE JONGE
Coram Street, WC1

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