FSRH Position Statement on Abortion including Decriminalisation

Our beliefs

FSRH believes women should be able to access safe and legal abortion wherever they live in the UK.

Our Vision

Our vision is a UK in which there is no fear of harassment or stigma for women who consult healthcare professionals for abortion. All women should be able to receive prompt access to abortion services, which should include good pregnancy decision-making support and access to post-abortion counselling if needed.

Decriminalisation of abortion in the UK

FSRH supports the removal of criminal sanctions associated with abortion, throughout the UK. Abortion should be subject to appropriate professional standards and regulatory frameworks.

Where it is assessed to be safe on a case-by-case basis, FSRH supports use of abortion medication at home (or a place of the woman’s choice).

FSRH supports the provision of contraceptive services in abortion care. We believe that abortion services should be required and commissioned to employ appropriately trained healthcare professionals to provide contraceptive advice, information and care to all women who want it.

This position on decriminalisation of abortion has been informed by the results of a consultation with the Faculty membership in October 2017 and has been reached following in depth discussions and a vote at FSRH Council.

Addendum to the statement (February 2018)

It is acknowledged by FSRH Council that whilst the vast majority of Faculty members agreed with decriminalisation of abortion in the UK in the member consultation carried out in November 2017, not all members support the Faculty’s stance on this issue.

The FSRH welcomes members by qualification who have demonstrated the relevant competencies required including those with a conscientious objection to abortion care and/or those who disagree with decriminalisation of abortion provided that they sign up to the FSRH ‘principles of care’ - as all members are now required to do - indicating that they will at all times put patient care first in their SRH work.

Download the position statement below as a pdf.