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.
Currently 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. WE are demanding that abortion be moved out of criminal law and into healthcare.
At our 2018 conference we will be joining our voices with the Northern Irish women and calling for Westminster to make this change its priority.
The Campaign so far
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 We called for Amber Rudd to change this outdated and patronising law.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.
WE successfully campaigned for the Home use of abortion pills
In August 2018 we celebrated huge win with activist and member Claudia Craig following the announcement by Matt Hancock, Minister for Health and Social Care, that women in England will be permitted to take the abortion pill at home.
The decision comes five months after we launched our #HomeUse campaign as part of our commitment to protecting women’s reproductive rights. The campaign highlighted the experiences of women like Claudia who had been forced to travel after taking abortion pills, by asking activists to share a film and sign Claudia’s open letter to the Minister for Health calling for urgent action on the issue.
Claudia’s letter was signed by thousands and reached more than two million on social media, condemning the distress and humiliation that she and other women experienced as a result of outdated legislation that insists they attend a hospital to take the pill - which can result in women beginning to miscarry on their journey home.
How you can get involved
1) Keep the pressure on Theresa May to ensure Northern Irish women's voices cannot be ignored
Tweet Theresa May to show that you believe abortion should be free, safe and legal in EVERY part of the UK. Northern Irish women's voices have been ignored for too long.
2) Meet with other activists to plan our next action
Our members have asked us to take immediate action to ensure the voices of Northern Irish women cannot be ignored in Westminster.
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 >>
Make e-Quality a reality
On Monday (13 June) Parliament will debate the Policing and Crime Bill. Together with the Liberal Democrats, WE are putting forward amendments to protect victims of revenge porn.
Help make this a win for women.
What is revenge porn?
Revenge porn is the publication of explicit material portraying someone who has not consented for the image or video to be shared. Once images start circulating online, it is difficult to bring an end to the abuse. Often the posts include private information including the victim’s name, links to social media profiles, telephone numbers and addresses. Anonymous harassers then spread the material to further humiliate the victim.
Ninety per cent of victims of revenge porn are women. Nearly all of these women suffer significant emotional distress, and many are faced with further harassment and stalking.
What is the Women’s Equality Party doing about it?
WE are calling for improvements to the current law to prevent revenge porn and help victims get justice. Together with the Liberal Democrats, WE are calling for:
anonymity for victims to empower them to seek justice
compensation for victims
protection from those who promote, solicit or profit from revenge porn
WE are also monitoring the impact of the new Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016 and WE are working with experts across the UK and in the US to design legislative proposals to tackle the epidemic scale of online abuse against women and girls.
What can I do about it?
You can immediately help us put an end to revenge pornography by encouraging your local MP to support our cross-party amendments. Use our email template to contact your MP this weekend ahead of the vote on Monday 13 June. Alternatively, you can tweet your local MP:
.@[INSERT TWITTER HANDLE OF YOUR LOCAL MP] @WEP_UK help put an end to #revengeporn by supporting amendment NC 46/47/61/62 to policing and crime bill #CtrlAltDelete
If you have been affected by revenge porn, contact the Revenge Porn Helpline from 10.00am - 4.00pm Monday to Friday on 0845 6000 459. Emails can be sent at any time to firstname.lastname@example.org.