Marie Stopes International praises Parliamentary Committee Report on UK abortion law

Final report a “victory for science over thinly-veiled ideological hokum”
says MSI Chief Executive Dana Hovig

Marie Stopes International (MSI) highly commended the recommendations in the UK Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee report on the UK Abortion Law, which found the lack of medical grounds for reducing the 24-week time limit at which women may legally obtain an abortion.

“After intensive lobbying by anti-choice groups - including ‘evidence’ that abortions cause cancer - the committee’s report represents a victory for science over thinly-veiled ideological hokum,” said Dana Hovig, MSI chief executive. “Last year about 1,100 UK women had an abortion between 22 and 24 weeks. Some were teenagers who panicked and hid their pregnancy. Others had no idea they were pregnant because they were on the contraceptive pill. We can only guess how many of these would have resorted to unsafe measures if safe abortion were not available to them.”

The committee report, which comes forty years after abortion was made legal in most of the UK, reported on the committee’s examination of how medical advances – such as pills for abortion instead of surgical methods – might have implications for updating the law.

The committee concluded that pills prescribed for abortion are sufficiently safe, both for qualified nurses to prescribe them and for women to complete the procedure at home. It further concluded that the existing requirement for two doctor’s signatures to allow a woman an abortion should be removed.

“Removing two signatures and improving access to abortion pills will reduce waiting times and are the best and safest means to minimize late-term abortions,” explained Hovig. “We believe the Committee has acted responsibly and look now to Parliament to act upon the Committee’s recommendations.”

Hovig added that MSI calls on MPs to “give due consideration to women in Northern Ireland for whom abortion services remain severely restricted.”

For more information, please contact:
Diana Thomas 020 7034 2317, diana.thomas@mariestopes.org.uk or
Anna Mawer, 020 7034 2307, anna.mawer@mariestopes.org.uk

Categories: United Kingdom; Europe; Abortion; Advocacy & campaigning

31/10/2007

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