Every month, women with serious medical conditions are denied abortion care and forced to continue pregnancies which pose a significant risk to their health, because of our outdated abortion law. These include women with uncontrolled epilepsy, heart problems, and cancer.
Women with complex medical conditions cannot be seen in stand-alone clinics, such as those provided by BPAS, but must be cared for within NHS hospital settings where there is swift back up for medical care if needed. Yet because of the threat of criminal sanction which is unique to abortion care, clinicians are deterred from training in this field, and doctors are deterred from authorising abortions. As a result, BPAS estimates that once a week a woman with a medical condition must continue a pregnancy against her wishes because there are not doctors willing or able to treat them.
In order to ensure all women are able to access abortion care when needed, abortion must be removed from the criminal law and regulated in the same way as all other medical procedures.