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Abortion is healthcare, and it's time to decriminalise it in the UK. Add your name to demand change.

Contrary to popular belief, abortion is still a criminal offence in the UK due to an old Victorian law passed fifty years before women won the right to vote.

According to the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, anyone who ends a pregnancy without permission from two doctors can face up to life in prison.

Abortion is healthcare. It’s time the law treats it as such. We should all have our healthcare needs met safely, including abortion.

It’s a basic ask. Abortion is available on request in 22 European countries – including France, Greece and Iceland. 85% of the UK public already believe women should have the right to abortion – it’s time to decriminalise it.

JOIN US if you agree that abortion should be removed from criminal law in England, Scotland and Wales.

Why is this important?

The fact that an old criminal law still stands means that pregnancies can be policed – with devastating impacts.

In 2021, a 15-year-old girl who had an unexplained early stillbirth was subjected to a year-long criminal investigation that involved having her phone and laptop searched.

In another case in 2022, a woman was kept in a prison cell for 36 hours after having a stillbirth – because of suspicions she’d had an abortion after the legal cutoff point.

Even if the worst doesn't happen, toxic stress during a person's pregnancy affects foetal development. Do you believe people suffering miscarriages and stillbirths should be locked in prison cells and interrogated?

The body doesn't know the difference between miscarriage and abortion – neither should the law.

Criminalising abortion stigmatises this form of healthcare and can cause significant harm to a person’s health and wellbeing. It can delay or prevent access to post abortion care, intensify shame and stigma, heighten barriers in access to legal care and create a chilling effect on medical professionals’ provision of information.

Most European countries have abortion on request. This means that if you want an abortion, nobody (not even a doctor) can stand in your way. This means the ultimate decision on whether to continue or end a pregnancy belongs to the pregnant person alone.

Abortion is healthcare. It’s time for the U.K. to decriminalise it.

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Started this petition 2 years ago

715 Comments

Theresa Peters
Theresa Peters

My thoughts are with this woman and others like her

Bethan Lewis
Bethan Lewis
Deirdre Hounsom
Deirdre Hounsom

Totally support abortion

Deirdre Hounsom
Deirdre Hounsom

Totally support every eoman’s right to seek abortion

susan bell
susan bell

Well said. Totally agree with you. All children should be loved and wanted. Repeal the 1861 act and stop sending women to prison for having an abortion. Shouldn’t be happening in Britain in 2023

Olga Malyutina
Olga Malyutina

This is a heart-breaking case. Imprisonment is the worst solution for this situation, and extremely harsh and may I say, very unwise choice of the justice system.
There is no mention of the cause why she decided to abort the baby, and this is where every detail matters. Maybe she lost her income and was fearing that her children would starve? Did her partner start drinking and being unsafe at home? Some other conditions made it impossible or dangerous to bring this baby into the world?
If the system would give her a clear choice between aborting the baby and carrying the baby to term to safely deliver and to either keep them or give the baby into adoption, it is most likely, she would choose to give life to her child. She received no support to give life, this is clear.
And, here is a very worrying trend:

https://care.org.uk/news/2023/05/record-levels-of-abortions-due-to-increasing-financial-strains

Stefanie Hart
Stefanie Hart

Our bodies our choice

Siobhan Boyle
Siobhan Boyle

Davina Lawes. You do not know the circumstances of each individual woman’s situation. You do not know her mind. You do not know what access she has to contraception. No contraception is 100% effective in any case. No woman should be forced to continue a pregnancy whatever the circumstances of her life or conception. Women should be free to choose what happens to their bodies, including terminating a pregnancy at whatever point she wishes. It is never an easy decision. Finally it is a foetus not a baby. It is not your place to decide at what point a woman considers her pregnancy a ‘baby’.

Holly Jones
Holly Jones

Davina Lawes – What you just said is barbaric, sick and totally inaccurate. It isn’t a baby it’s a feotus. No form of contraception is fully reliable, even sterilisation! Childbirth is extremely dangerous. Moreover, how DARE you tell women and girls what they can and can’t do with THEIR OWN bodies? Educate yourself. You have no place here!

Womens Center
Womens Center

Thanks for sharing this previous information, I learned a lot and clear some of my thoughts about abortion. If you are struggling to find reliable abortion clinic, visit our website: https://www.womenscenter.com

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