Wednesday 6th November 2019
Today, we call on our supporters to come together and speak out, to end abortion stigma once and for all.
Worldwide, one in four women will seek an abortion in their lifetime. Yet despite it being a common healthcare procedure, women still face judgement and stigma as a result of making the choices that are right for them.
Through the launch of this new campaign we are addressing the need for open conversations on abortion by calling on people to break the silence.
In the UK, just one in three women (33%) would tell their family if they were considering getting an abortion. This statistic comes from research we have commissioned with YouGov, which also reveals that only 62% of women would tell their sexual partner if they were considering an abortion. Sadly, 6% of women disclosed that they would not to talk to anyone, aside from a medical professional, if they were considering getting an abortion.
The study shines a spotlight on women’s attitudes to abortion in the UK, where despite more than nine in 10 women (92%) identifying as pro-choice, on-going abortion stigma means there is still a wall of silence around the topic.
Our survey reveals that 79% of women think abortion should be talked about more openly. Top reasons include: to help women feel more supported (76%)[xxii] to increase understanding around abortion (75%) and to reduce stigma around abortion (67%).
Through the launch of our new campaign - #SmashAbortionStigma – we are addressing the need for open conversation by calling on people to break the silence around abortion. We want to encourage people to get involved by sharing their stories on social media using the hashtag #SmashAbortionStigma or by recording a short video explaining why they are pro-choice.
Dr Caroline Gazet, Clinical Director for Marie Stopes UK, said: “In the UK, one in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime, yet we know that abortion stigma can make women feel judged, shamed and silenced. Women want to talk, and our research shows that open and honest conversations about abortion help women and girls feel informed, educated and supported when it comes to making their own choices about their own bodies. The UK is a pro-choice nation, but with a small minority of anti-choice voices threatening abortion rights worldwide, it is more important than ever that we smash abortion stigma and champion the right of women to access abortion care.”
How to get involved
You can share, like, and re-post our content on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to help keep the conversation going! The more voices we have, the faster we can #SmashAbortionStigma. Read more about the campaign and about how you can join the movement at http://bit.ly/SmashStigmaCampaign