Letters & Op-Eds - 2008
Catholic church and the right to choose
Jon O'Brien Catholics for Choice, Ann Furedi British Pregnancy Advisory Service, Julie Bentley Family Planning Association, Simon Blake Brook, John Bercow MP Con, Buckingham, Dr Evan Harris MP Lib Dem, Oxford West and Abingdon, Emily Thornberry MP Lab, Islington South & Finsbury, Dr Wendy Savage Doctors for a Woman's Choice on Abortion, Marge Behrer Voice for Choice, Lisa Hallgarten Education for Choice, Louise Hutchins Abortion Rights
3 October 2008
Reforms would allow early abortions in community settings, such as GPs' surgeries, where appropriate. With medical abortion under nine weeks' gestation, reforms would allow one of the drugs used to be taken at home, as is routine in the US. These drugs are already taken at home by UK women after early natural miscarriage. The reforms aim to allow abortion earlier, which is acknowledged to be safer and less invasive.
Another proposal would extend the 1967 Act to Northern Ireland. UK citizens deserve equal legal rights to healthcare wherever they live and Northern Irish women should not have to travel to Britain for abortion in secrecy and stigma at their own expense. The Catholic church often speaks out against injustice and inequality, and supports the exercise of individual conscience in accordance with its beliefs. In contrast, sadly, its position on reproductive rights perpetuates injustice against women and fails to respect women's considered decisions, made in good conscience.
This letter originally appeared in the 3 October 2008 edition of The Guardian.