FSRH consultation response: abortion care should be subject to professional standards and regulatory frameworks

Posted 18 December 2019

Date: 18 Dec 2019

Type: FSRH Consultation Responses

We respond to the consultation on a new legal framework for abortion care services in Northern Ireland by the Northern Ireland Office and the Office of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

In our response, we reiterate our position on decriminalisation of abortion in the UK, including Northern Ireland, highlighting that women should be able to access safe and legal abortion care wherever they live. 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.

We also made the case against any form of additional certification by healthcare professionals to provide women with early abortion procedures. We argued for the need to develop an appropriately-trained workforce to deliver abortion care.

Finally, we called on the Government to fulfil the requirements in Paragraphs 85 and 86 in the report by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW/C/OP.8/GBR/1), which require the State to provide non-biased, evidence- and rights-based counselling and information on sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH) services, including on all methods of contraception and access to abortion as well as to ensure the accessibility of SRH services including all methods of contraception, enhancing access at pharmacies, clinics and hospitals.

Read our full response here and more information on the Government consultation here.