Seriously time to sit up and act now – our government is attacking women again. Those of you following the F Word blog or keeping an eye on feminist news in general will probably already know, but abortion rights are, as usual, under threat.
Under new proposals, which won’t be well-publicised, and won’t be voted on in Parliament, women will be required to seek conselling before being able to access an abortion, effectively shortening the window she has. This counselling may be provided by organisations with a distinctly anti-abortion agenda. More information is below this email, where I’ve pasted the F Word blog post.
We need to make a *massive* fuss about these proposals, spread the word, tell people what’s happening and encourage everyone (not just women) to raise their voices and defend abortion rights.
- Write to your MP. A letter is attached which you can adapt as you please or send in its entirety. You can find out your MP here. (Just pop in your postcode, then click on your MP’s name and you’ll be taken to a page where you’ll find their email address and postal address – you can paste the letter into an email or post it to them. Remember to add their name at the top and yours at the bottom)
- Join the pro-choice demo on 9th July in London. There’s a Facebook event for it apparently – you’ll have to seek it out as we can’t see it! Details are here: http://womensgrid.freecharity.org.uk/?p=7489
Or be a superstar and do both.
Please send this email on to your friends and networks – it’s so important we stand up now and defend the hard-won abortion rights that we enjoy, but which are always under threat from those who seek to diminish women’s control and choice over their own bodies and lives.
The government is seeking ways to make it more difficult for women to access an abortion without bringing the proposal to a vote in Parliament, Liberal Conspiracy reports.
The Department of Health is looking for ways to force women to undergo mandatory ‘counselling’ before getting an abortion by changing existing regulations.
That is they are adopting the patronising proposal by Nadine Dorries and Frank Field in their quest to undermine the right to choose, rather that through the democratic process in Parliament, where it would at least face scrutiny by MPs and the Lords.
They also want to introduce a further ban on abortion clinics giving counselling. As Sunny says:
As BPAS (who have been targeted in this amendment) point out – around 20% of women they offer counselling to eventually chose not to have an abortion.
It’s like saying your doctor should not operate on you because they have an interest in doing so.
We’ve seen this all before in the US. Anti-choice campaigners wear away at one thing after another, till we’re left in a situation where women who miscarry and have stillbirths are being tried for murder, as the Guardian reported only yesterday:
What can we do? Writing to your MP and the Department of Health might be a good start. But also if you’re able to make the Pro-choice demo in London on 9 July, that’s another way to show your support for the right to choose, trusting women to make their own decisions, based on accurate information given out by healthcare providers.