Time To Act

For almost two years, we have seen the devastation caused by the overturning of Roe v Wade in America. Now, the attack on abortion rights has reached the UK.

The number of women facing criminal investigation, prosecution and prison time under Great Britain’s cruel and outdated abortion law has reached a record high. It is Time to Act.

England & Wales have the most severe punishment for an “illegal” abortion in the world – up to life imprisonment. This is worse than countries and states with severe anti-abortion laws such as Texas, Afghanistan, and South Sudan.

Just last year, a woman in England was sentenced to 28 months in prison after using abortion pills to end her own pregnancy. Five more women have appeared in court over the last year.

On June 4th – MPs could face the biggest vote on abortion rights in a generation. They will have the opportunity to vote to end prison time once and for all for women who end their pregnancies.

But our abortion rights are also under attack from the anti-abortion lobby, with MPs potentially facing a vote on restricting abortion rights in the UK and undoing decades of progress in access to abortion care. We cannot allow MPs to vote for an American-driven narrative that opposes all forms of safe, legal abortion care.


Make it clear to your MP how they should vote to support women. Get your MP to vote for Dame Diana Johnson’s amendment NC1 to decriminalise women for abortion and vote down anti-abortion amendments NC15, NC41 and NC115 which would restrict abortions by reducing the time-limit and criminalise post-24-week abortions relating to Down’s Syndrome. You can help protect our abortion rights and change the law to end the trauma of lengthy police investigations, prosecutions and prison time. Because we owe it to our women.

Stop the attack on our abortion rights

The American-backed anti-abortion lobby in the UK is coming after our abortion rights. This attack on our abortion rights is putting decades of abortion law progress in jeopardy.


This amendment, led by anti-abortion MPs who voted against the introduction of telemedical abortion in 2022, would make it a crime for a woman to receive abortion medication to take at home unless she had undergone an in-person medical consultation.

This amendment is strongly opposed by the sector as a cynical waste of parliamentary time, revisiting a decision which they lost barely two years ago and putting anti-abortion ideology ahead of clinical evidence, best practice, and accessible women’s healthcare.

Evidence shows that telemedical abortion care is safe, effective and improves care. Taking both pills at home has been shown to have no impact on complication rates, and 99.2% of women have a successful termination. In addition, the introduction of telemedical abortion care resulted in an increase of the proportion of abortions taking place at the earliest gestations, with 40% of abortions now taking place by 6 weeks, up from 25% prior.

The removal of telemedical abortion care would have a drastic impact on vulnerable women, including those in abusive and controlling relationships for whom telemedicine provides a safe and confidential way to receive abortion care.

Telemedical abortion is supported by Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG) organisations, including Women’s Aid, the End Violence Against Women Coalition, Rape Crisis, Southall Black Sisters, and Karma Nirvana. These groups told MPs at the time of the 2022 vote – “Creating clinically unnecessary barriers to abortion helps abusers, not survivors… the argument that telemedicine facilitates reproductive coercion originates with anti-abortion groups, not anti-VAWG groups. The priority for such groups is restricting abortion access, not addressing coercion and abuse.”

Email your MP telling them to vote down amendment NC115 to protect telemedical abortion care in the UK and ensure vulnerable women are still able to access essential healthcare.


NC15 is an anti-abortion amendment backed by the anti-abortion group Right to Life which would reduce the abortion time limit from 24 weeks to 22 weeks. This change is not supported by clinical evidence, only 5% of babies born at 22 weeks survive to be one year old. Nearly 99% of abortions happen prior to 20 weeks, and the most common reasons for women presenting beyond 20 weeks are foetal anomaly, a change in circumstances such as the death of a partner, domestic abuse, a woman’s own health problems, late detection of pregnancy, and young women under the age of 18. A 22-week limit would deny women facing devastating diagnoses the right to choose. The first time at which many foetal anomalies are detected is at the 20-week scan and detailed tests determining the type and extent of the anomaly are most commonly returned after 22 weeks. This change could result in women being denied the ability to make a fully informed decision, either continuing a pregnancy with a devastating diagnosis, or opting to end a pregnancy that with more information they may otherwise have continued.

Ask your MP to vote DOWN amendment NC15, this is a vote against women and we will not allow our abortion rights to be restricted in 2024.


This amendment is led by a prominent anti-abortion MP and would make it illegal for doctors to provide an abortion beyond the usual time limit where a diagnosis of Down’s Syndrome has been made. This amendment is strongly opposed by the sector as a threat to women’s rights. Across the UK, abortion is available beyond the 24-week limit in case of severe or fatal fetal anomalies.

The amendment does not account for the complex and individual nature of a Down’s Syndrome diagnosis, instead relying on diagnostic overshadowing to presume certain outcomes regardless of an individual woman’s circumstances. Pregnancy and longer-term outcomes are complex, and national figures show that the risk of late miscarriage or stillbirth for a pregnancy with a Down’s Syndrome diagnosis is 57 per 1000 live births – ten times higher than the population as a whole. This amendment would substitute a doctor-led assessment of women’s circumstances on a case-by-case basis and for a politician’s opinion of a clinical diagnosis.

Forcing women to bear children they are not able to care for is cruel and unjust. Women who end pregnancies with a diagnosis of Down’s Syndrome are no different to women who continue their pregnancy or experience a miscarriage – they are just faced with a different set of circumstances. Some women who already have a child with Down’s Syndrome or another disability make the difficult decision to end another similar pregnancy, often because of the challenges they face with caring for a child with additional needs. Women are the only people who should make the decision about whether or not they are able to care for a child.

This is a transparent attempt to restrict a women’s right to choose, copying Republicans in the most restrictive US states – laws to ban abortions related to Down’s Syndrome have been passed in at least 8 US states including Alabama and Kentucky. Republicans have repeatedly tried and failed to introduce this ban at federal level.

Let your MP know they should vote DOWN amendment NC41, a vote for this amendment is a vote to remove abortion rights that even the US Congress thinks are a step too far.

Delays to the Criminal Justice Bill


We first launched our campaign to decriminalise abortion for women in November 2023 to coincide with Dame Diana Johnson’s amendment NC1 to the Criminal Justice Bill.

Following the Committee Stage of the Bill in December last year, there have been multiple delays, with Politico reporting on the delays back in April. The Home Secretary has also warned that abortion will not be debated at all.

The Criminal Justice Bill was finally set down for debate on 15 May. However abortion was not on the list of topics for day 1 of the debate. And there has been no date yet announced for day 2. There is no onus on the government to commit to a day 2.

We are tired of the delays. It’s not the politicians that suffer from the endless delays, it’s our women.

So we are asking the Leader of the House to commit to setting a date for day 2 of the Criminal Justice Bill. So that MPs can finally have the chance to end the threat of police investigations, prosecutions and prison time for women who have an abortion.


Stop Delaying our Abortion Rights | 38 Degrees

Reforming Abortion Law - Position statement


We’ve joined with over 30 leading women’s rights organisations like the Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologists, The Royal College of Midwives, The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health, Rape Crisis England & Wales to create a position statement calling on the government to reform the Abortion Act 1967 to decriminalise women seeking to end their own pregnancies

Read our position statement here.

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