WE pick our battles based on how much they matter, not how easy they are to win.
About the campaign
WE are campaigning to make abortion free, safe and legal in every part of the UK. WE are raising awareness of the unjust and arbitrary requirement for women to get permission from two doctors to terminate their pregnancy.
October 27 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act, a law that made abortions easier to access for millions of women in England, Scotland and Wales. The activists that made this possible saw it as a temporary fix, not a long term solution. Because the Act did not legalise abortion, and it did nothing to help women in Northern Ireland.
The current situation
In 2017, women in England, Scotland and Wales wishing to have an abortion still have to prove their pregnancy involves a bigger risk to their physical or mental health than terminating it. They still have to ask for permission from two doctors to end their pregnancy. They still risk prosecution.
In Northern Ireland, basic reproductive rights are so restricted that abortions are almost impossible to access. Abortions are only legal where the life or long-term physical/mental health of the person is at serious risk. There are no exceptions for rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormalities, and illegal abortion carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Nowhere in the United Kingdom do women enjoy full reproductive rights. This has to change and we are ready to lead that change.
WE are campaigning for full decriminalisation of abortion in every part of the UK and we stand in solidarity with women in Ireland. WE are demanding that abortion be moved out of criminal law and into healthcare.
What we've been doing
We marked the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act with a week of action. We called for Amber Rudd to change this outdated and patronising law.
During the first week, more than four thousand people signed a permission slip, 186,000 people connected with our campaign on Twitter, and we held a packed-out rally in London at which Sophie Walker joined a line up of inspiring activist speakers to reflect on the past, present and future of reproductive rights in the UK.
And on Friday 27th Hastings members delivered 406,108 permission slips to the Home Secretary’s office. They represent the number of times women in the UK have had to seek consent for an abortion in the past year alone.
How you can get involved
1) keep the pressure on the Home Secretary to change the law
WE have asked people to sign a permission slip that gives Home Secretary Amber Rudd permission to make abortion legal. On the anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act WE delivered 406,018 permission slips to the Home Secretary - representing the number of times permission was sought for an abortion in the last year alone.
View the permission slip used by doctors today to understand why women need to be trusted.
We need to keep up the pressure on Amber Rudd by building the numbers of signatures over the next few months. We still need your help with this:
2) Meet with other activists to plan our next action
Our members have asked us to take immediate action to update this law. When the 1967 Abortion Act was created, women could only have surgical abortions so they needed to be performed at clinics. But most women now have abortions by taking a pill. Forcing them to take the pill at a clinic can lead to painful miscarriages on their way home.
There is no need to put women through this. On the anniversary of the Abortion Act Scotland became the first country in the UK to allow women to take abortion pills in their own home. The Secretaries of State for Health in England and Wales also have the power to let women take the pills in their home with support from loved ones.
Over the coming weeks local members in England and Wales will be campaigning to highlight this injustice and call for change. Activists are gathering in meet-ups across England and Wales to plan our next action.
3) There's more to come
Stay in touch with us to find out more about our campaign as it unfolds. We will be in touch soon with the next exciting action. Together we can make this change happen.
If you'd like to know more, we've answered your frequently asked questions >>