Write to your MP: Abortion Decriminalisation

8 February 2024

Diana Johnson MP has proposed an amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill that will have the effect of decriminalising abortion right up to birth.

Her amendment would modify the existing law so that: “no offence is committed by a woman acting in relation to her own pregnancy.”

This would legalise abortion up to birth for any reason at all, including sex-selective abortions. It would mean that a woman who obtained abortion pills would have no legal deterrent from using them on herself, not only past the 10-week gestational age after which use of the pills is dangerous, but after the current 24-week legal limit for carrying out abortions.

It would continue to be illegal for medical professionals to perform an abortion for most circumstances beyond the current 24-week limit. This means that the amendment is likely to lead to more women self-administering abortion pills to procure late-term abortions which carry serious risks to health. It is in-effect a return of ‘backstreet abortions’.

Write to your MP

Please write to your MP urging them to vote against this amendment when it comes up for debate later this month.

You can use this website to find your MP and to write to them.

We suggest that in your email you make some of the following points in your own words:

  • Urge them to vote against Diana Johnson MP’s amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill which will decriminalise abortion.
  • Tell your MP that the current law provides an important deterrent against women performing dangerous late-term abortions.
  • Tell your MP that this would legalise sex-selective abortions right up to birth.
  • Tell your MP that self-management of a medical abortion at over 12-weeks is considered unsafe by the World Health Organisation, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and the abortion drug manufacturers.
  • Tell your MP that complication rates for medical abortions carried out over 20 weeks as reported in government statistics show that complications are 160x higher than when carried out below the current 10-week legal limit.  Complication rates are likely to be higher still when self- administered outside of a clinical setting.
  • Tell your MP that complications for women carrying out late-stage medical abortions are very likely to require hospitalisation and include severe bleeding, uterine rupture, and the risk of a live birth.
  • Tell your MP that decriminalising abortion will lead to more women choosing to carry out an abortion in dangerous or unsafe manners at great risk to themselves and their baby.
  • Tell your MP that the current law protects women from unsafe abortions and that the threat of prosecution may well be the reason that there have been very few cases of women carrying out unsafe abortions.
  • Tell your MP that there is very little public support for decriminalising abortion right up to birth. Recent polling carried out in January showed that only 16% of the population thought that abortions later than 24 weeks should be decriminalised.
Find out more about DIY abortions
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