National Partnership for Women & Families

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Columnist: U.K. Women Must Fight Efforts To 'Chip Away' at Abortion Rights

Columnist: U.K. Women Must Fight Efforts To 'Chip Away' at Abortion Rights

October 23, 2014 — Though it would not seem that the United Kingdom's "Conservative party, Democratic Unionist party and the Scottish National party have a huge amount in common," all of the parties' health ministers "want to bring down the time limits on abortion," Grainne Teggart writes in a column for The Guardian.

Teggart notes that while attempts to erode abortion access in the U.K. usually are defeated, U.K. residents must "be concerned when ... those entrusted with the health of the nation ... take a position on a vital part of women's healthcare that flies in the face of the current medical and scientific consensus in the U.K., and indeed public opinion."

Particularly, Teggart writes that U.K. residents should be "concerned when issues such as time limits or changes to who can provide counselling services or 'cooling-off periods' or restrictions on the premises where abortion can be performed are so clearly part of a long-term strategy to chip away at access to abortion with the ultimate aim to ban it entirely." She argues, "We can't turn a blind eye to these stealth tactics as we have witnessed how successful they have been in the U.S."

Teggart argues, "It is time that politicians throughout the U.K. started to take their obligations to uphold women's rights seriously and face up to the consequences of their action or inaction" (Teggart, The Guardian, 10/21).