Saturday 3 March 2007

Defend Women's Right to Choose

Today women and men will be demonstrating and campaigning for better abortion provision. Abortion Rights are launching the Campaign for a Modern Abortion Law 12.30 outside the QEII Conference Centre; and the March for Abortion Rights begins at 6.30pm at ULU, Malet Street.

In a political climate where the anti-choice lobby is sadly growing with several parliamentary attempts to cut back the time limit occurring in the last year, it is important that we strongly assert the principle of a woman’s right to control if and when she has children. We should not only defend the current limit, but we must look to ensure that all women really do have the option of a free and safe abortion.

The link between abortion provision and the privatization of the NHS is a crucial one, given that NHS waiting lists can delay women waiting for an abortion by up to eight weeks and there are still wide variations throughout the country of the percentage of publicly funded abortions, ranging from more than 90 per cent in some areas to less than 60 per cent in others.

We should also seek to ensure that there is detailed sex education in schools, better choice with regards to contraception, and better childcare support and a living wage so that financial hardship is never a factor in choosing not have children.

I am committed to supporting a woman‘s right to choose - and wholeheartedly support today's actions.