Survey prompts calls for abortion restrictions

// 29 January 2006

Deary me. Today is not a good day for statistics. After learning that nearly half of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals fear to tell their co-workers about their sexuality, and that most men don’t want to go out with a funny woman, the Observer tells us that 47% of women think the time-limit on abortions should be shortened.

You can read the report here. When I read about this type of thing, I try and remind myself that a majority of Britons also think the death penalty should be reintroduced.

At the moment, women can access abortion up until 24 weeks but only around 1.5% of terminations are carried out after 20 weeks.

We can take heart that the Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, does not seem to support a change in the law. She told the Observer: “I think it is very difficult for a woman contemplating a late termination and they need to be given very clear advice and support.”

Toni Belfield of the Family Planning Association, said: “The argument about medical advances misses the point. There needs to be access to late abortion after 20 weeks because a woman may not find out she is pregnant until 18 or 19 weeks, or be in a non-consensual relationship, or be told about a foetal abnormality.”

Anyone who might have been softening on the Tories since they elected David Cameron as leader might like to know he personally supports a reduction to between 20 and 22 weeks. Let’s fervantly hope that this is not a sign that abortion rights in the UK will become the battleground they are in the US.

Have Your say

Comments are closed on this post

Further Reading

Has The F-Word whet your appetite? Check out our Resources section, for listings of feminist blogs, campaigns, feminist networks in the UK, mailing lists, international and national websites and charities of interest.

Write for us!

Got something to say? Something to review? News to discuss? Well we want to hear from you! Click here for more info

  • The F-Word on Twitter
  • The F-Word on Facebook
  • Our XML Feeds