Don’t let the Government roll back our rights to at-home medical abortion services
At home medical abortion services have revolutionised access to sexual healthcare. It has reduced the number of women accessing online abortion pills illegally by nearly 90%, increased speed of access to services despite a global pandemic and is the preferred form of treatment for the majority of patients.
There is absolutely no justification for withdrawing telemedical abortion services, and denying many women access to services and putting even more pressure on our health service.
Sign below to demand that the Government maintain access to telemedical abortion services.
Demand that your MP calls for an independent inquiry into the impact of the Covid pandemic on Disabled people.
- Follow this link to find and contact your MP.
- Use the template copy below to send to your MP.
- Edit the email to include your MP's name and your name, and to include any additional comments.
Dear [Your MP’s name] MP,
I am writing to ask you to act urgently to call for an independent inquiry into the impact of the Covid pandemic on disabled people, which also includes an analysis into the impact that gender has on outcomes for disabled people.
A study carried out by the Office for National Statistics and researchers at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine , issued a report in June of this year. The report’s findings included the following:
[D]isabled people were at higher risk because they are disproportionately exposed to a range of circumstances that actually disadvantaged them, as no single factor explained the results. In addition, we found that disabled people were at higher risk of death from all causes during this period, only a fraction of which involved COVID-19. This finding implies a need to improve services and access to healthcare for disabled people, and tackling the drivers of disadvantage and excess mortality, both during and after the pandemic.
Over a decade of austerity that has targeted disabled people, a fundamental lack of funded social care and multiple barriers to accessing education or work have led to higher mortality rates. While disabled men have also seen a huge disparity in outcomes, the additional discrimination faced by women puts disabled women at higher risk.
Key facts from this study include:
- People with learning disabilities were approximately 4-5 times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19, and 7-8 times more likely to die.
- Working-age disabled women with higher support needs are 91% more likely to die then their non-disabled counterparts.
- Working-age disabled women with lower support needs are twice as likely to die as their non-disabled counterparts.
- 58% of those who died from COVID-19 in England were disabled people.
When Dominic Cummings shared the whiteboard picture with the words “Who do we not save?” We knew the answer was Disabled women.
In the summer the Women’s Equality Party Disability Caucus protested for 91 hours at Parliament square to highlight these shocking findings and to demand an inquiry The caucus also held local protests and an online rally to demand change.
Disabled women are not just a statistic you can ignore, but women with full and ordinary lives. We are your sisters, mothers, grandmothers, aunties and friends. We have careers and degrees, and we have hopes and dreams just like everyone else. Disabled women should not have been more at risk of dying from Covid.
As your constituent I am asking you to please join calls demanding an inquiry into the impact of the Covid pandemic on disabled people
[Your name and address]
Dear Sadiq Khan,
We are writing to ask you to make London a Sanctuary City for abused migrant women.
Our city is facing two pandemics, the COVID-19 virus and the violence that it exacerbates. In the last year, rates of domestic abuse and other forms of gender based violence have spiralled across our city, and despite government rhetoric, many migrant women have been left to face that abuse alone.
The government recently announced that it was putting travellers up in quarantine hotels, demonstrating that they have the resources and infrastructure to rapidly house people when there is political will. But they refuse to demonstrate that will, support or funding to ensure that migrant women are not trapped with their abusers.
As you know, the government’s ‘hostile’ or ‘compliant’ environment policies are stopping migrant women from leaving abusive relationships or seeking help. By stamping passports with No Recourse to Public Funds and excluding migrant women from accessing the welfare safety net, the government is denying women and children safe refuge and trapping them at home with their abusers. We can and must do better.
In the last year you have shown leadership on this issue by providing safe accommodation to 200 women fleeing domestic abuse - including migrant women. You have also funded a limited number of temporary bed spaces for women with No Recourse to Public Funds by funding the Covid-19 Crisis Project run by Southall Black Sisters and Solace Women’s Aid, but this is nowhere near enough to meet demand. Many women remain trapped in abuse and without hope of protection and support. Even with the surge in domestic violence during lockdown, which has resulted in a 34% increase in calls to domestic violence hotlines, four in five migrant women are still turned away from refuges - often with children in tow.
We are asking you to go further by overriding the government’s inhumane policies to make London a Sanctuary City, just as Mayors across the US have done in response to Trump’s racist immigration enforcement actions. We are calling on you to ensure that migrant women in London will never be referred to the Home Office if they report their abuse to the police, and to guarantee each woman and her children:
- Safe accommodation
- £50 allowance per week, plus extra for children
- Access to wrap-around specialist support
- Legal advice and representation
Violence is not inevitable. Mayors always have a choice about whether and how to respond to the challenges facing the people and communities they represent.
We urge you to stand up to the government and to defy their inhumane hostile environment policies by ensuring that the most marginalised women are given the sanctuary and support to rebuild their lives. In doing so, you will be sending a message that London must be open and safe, for everyone.
Mandu Reid, Leader of the Women's Equality Party
Pragna Patel, Founder and Director of Southall Black Sisters
Baljit Banga, Executive Director, Imkaan
Rosanna Lewis & Ngozi Fulani, Sistah Space
Jasbindar Bhatoa, Senior Legal Officer, Rights of Women
Gisela Valle, Director, Latin American Women's Rights Service
Halaleh Taheri, Founder & Executive Director, Middle Eastern Women & Society Organisation-MEWSo
Gabriela Quevedo, Director for Advocacy and Influencing, Latin American Women’s Aid
Matt Hawkins, Co-Director, Compassion in Politics
Karen Ingala Smith, Chief Executive, NIA
Camille Rouse, Legal Advice Service Manager, London Black Women’s Project
Dear Sadiq Khan,
Despite the fact that streets are emptier and many public spaces are closed, street harassment is still a serious problem. I am calling on you as Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner of London to ensure that women and girls can enjoy their daily exercise and move around our great city free from the fear or threat of violence or abuse.
One in five women and girls in the UK experienced street harassment during lockdown. This figure is far worse in London; more than half of women surveyed by Catcalls of London said street harassment got worse during the lockdowns, and 62% feared for their safety. Our branch in Lambeth conducted their own survey, and found that the most common forms of street harassment were catcalling, wolf whistling or unwanted comments, followed by unwanted physical contact, being followed, or sexual gestures. Respondents also said photos had been taken of them without consent, and perpetrators had even masturbated in front of them.
London remains the worst city in the UK for street harassment and harassment on public transport. In 2016, ActionAid found that nationally, 36% of women feel at risk of harassment from public transport, but that rises to 51% for women living in London. Four years later those numbers have not changed; more than half of women experienced sexual harassment whilst using public transport in 2020, but only 2% felt able to report it.
On International Women’s Day last year, you called for misogyny to be made a hate crime. Yet women are in the same position as they were in when you first became Mayor. We cannot simply wait for Central Government to change the law, and it is within your power to do something about this. Moving more Londoners to walking and cycling is a vital part of fighting Covid and making our city greener, but you cannot ask more women to use our streets without doing anything to ensure they feel safe to do so.
I am calling on you as a ‘Proud Feminist’ to fulfil your promise to make London a beacon of freedom and equality for women and girls, by developing a London-wide strategy to end street harassment and abuse on the transport network, including a public education campaign. I stand ready to work with you to make our streets and transport network safe for all women and girls.
Mandu Reid, Leader of the Women’s Equality Party and candidate for Mayor of London
Parents and Early Years providers are at breaking point and unless the government acts now, women’s unemployment will continue to soar - deepening and lengthening the economic crisis for everyone. This will affect mothers on the lowest incomes most acutely, who are nine times more likely to lose their jobs as a result of the latest school closures and lockdown.
Since March last year parents have been asked to home school their children for 100 working days. The result is that women are more likely to quit their jobs or be made redundant and children are being left behind.
We are calling on the government to introduce urgent measures to keep childcare and parents afloat through lockdown and beyond.
- A legal right to shared furlough or guaranteed Self-Employment Income Support for all parents. Currently, parents only have the right to request furloughing and 75% have been refused.
- Early Years and school staff to be prioritised in the next round of vaccines so that they can reopen safely as soon as possible.
- Increase child benefits to £50 per child and maintain the £20-a-week uplift in universal credit. With children at home, household bills are mounting and forcing families into poverty.
- Ten days extra paid annual leave for all parents and 20 days for single parents to help them manage caring responsibilities without the risk of redundancy.
- A bailout for nurseries to stop them closing permanently.
Sign to protect reproductive rights during lockdown
The UK government has finally approved over the remote medical abortion services, enabling those seeking pills for early abortions in England and Wales to stay at home during the Covid-19 crisis. But this service has not been extended to Northern Ireland, where abortions are now legal but services are unable to meet the demand. So women in Northern Ireland are being forced to risk their health by travelling hundreds of miles to England in order to get abortion pills that could easily prescribed over the phone.
Reproductive rights are human rights and access to free, safe and legal abortions should not depend on where you live or whether you can leave your home.
Ensuring safe and straightforward access to abortion services will ease the strain on the NHS and should be an essential part of the Government’s Corona virus response. Yet our government still requires women to seek permission from two doctors to have an abortion.
WE are calling for:
- Telemedical abortion services to be introduced in Northern Ireland
- The requirement for two doctors to give permission for women to access abortions to be removed
These measures will protect women’s reproductive rights, ensure that all women can access abortions without having to leave their home, and free up healthcare professionals to focus on responding to the pandemic.
Sign our petition today to call for urgent action.
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