27 September 2021
Clare Murphy, Chief Executive of BPAS, said:
“On Sunday, San Marino voted overwhelmingly in favour to legalise abortion. This historic vote overturns a near-total ban on abortions, updating a law from 1865 which made abortion punishable by three to six years in prison.
“While abortion has only been made legal up to 12 weeks, with exceptions for fetal anomalies or risk to the mother’s life, this change will deliver safe, evidence-based, and compassionate care. It won’t bring San Marino into line with the rest of Europe, but it’s a change that will enable women to access the essential healthcare they need at home without huge costs.
“While we celebrate this win for women’s rights, we must also remain focused on our own challenges at home and ensure that while restrictive laws are rolled back elsewhere, the UK continues to push for change. If the UK government removes permission for telemedical abortions, any woman who uses pills at home could be imprisoned for life for an abortion at any gestation under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act. It’s time for 160-year-old laws on abortion to be updated everywhere.”
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BPAS is a charity that sees over 100,000 women a year for reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception at clinics across Great Britain. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. BPAS also runs the Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication, which seeks to develop and deliver a research agenda that furthers women’s access to evidence-based reproductive healthcare, driven by an understanding of women’s perspectives and needs. You can find out more here: https://www.bpas.org/get-involved/centre-for-reproductive-research-communication/
Later in 2021, BPAS will launch England’s first not-for-profit fertility service, to provide ethical, evidence-based, person-centred care that supports patients. We will provide a safe, high-quality, and accessible service, without profiteering from patients. Our service will give those ineligible for NHS funding an affordable option to access the care they need.