Not a headline you will often read. But there is a chance we can extend our abortion rights this autumn.
In October MPs will vote on abortion rights amendments that have been added to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.
On the pro-choice side the amendments include:
• allowing nurses to perform first trimester abortions;
• allowing abortions to be carried out at GP’s surgeries and family planning clinics;
• reducing the two doctor jury to one (a start!);
• banning misleading advertising of pregnancy counselling services and
• clarifying the limit of conscientious objection.
The amendments are designed to make a woman’s access to abortion easier, less distressing and to reduce the long delays that occur under the current law. It is vital that a momentum is built in the lead up to the Report Stage and third reading in order to maximise the possibility of these amendments succeeding. This is the first opportunity in 18 years — since the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 passed through Parliament — to make amendments to the inadequate Abortion Act of 1967.