Abortion

FPA is a pro-choice organisation and works to secure abortion rights and improved abortion services for women across the UK.

Our policy on abortion (PDF)

Our definition of what it means to be pro-choice (PDF)


Abortion news and activity

MPs vote against proposed amendment on abortion, February 2015

FPA is pleased MPs have voted against a proposed amendment to the Serious Crime Bill.

Our statement on the vote >>

Northern Ireland abortion law challenged, December 2014

FPA welcomes the decision by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) to challenge abortion law in the country.

Our comment on the challenge >>

New guidance for commissioners, May 2014

FPA and Brook have published a guide for commissioners on providing decision-making support for women considering or seeking an abortion.

The guidance can be download from the Briefings and Guidance section of FPA's website.

Department of Health in Northern Ireland agrees to issue new abortion guidelines, February 2013

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has agreed to issue draft abortion guidelines.

Planned consultation on commissioning abortion services, December 2012

In answer to a parliamentary question from Diane Abbott MP, health minister, Anna Soubry, said there will be a “consultation on the future arrangements for commissioning of termination of pregnancy services later in 2013”.

Abortion counselling services, December 2012

The government's sexual health policy document will include details of plans for abortion counselling services. Health minister Anna Soubry said counselling services are being looked at in the context of “wider issues on preventing unwanted and unplanned pregnancies”.

Abortion time limit, October 2012

Nadine Dorries MP held a parliamentary debate about the upper time limit of abortion, currently 24 weeks.

Discussion focused on whether the 1967 Abortion Act should be amended and if this issue should be voted on in the House of Commons.

Anna Soubry MP, confirmed that the government had no intention of changing guidelines, time limits or altering the 1967 Act. She praised recent work looking at how to reduce unintended pregnancies and improve access to contraceptive services. She went on to confirm that, after careful consideration, the Department of Health had no intention of taking forward a separate consultation on abortion counselling.

Outside of this debate, both Jeremy Hunt (Health Secretary) and Earl Howe (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State) have recently stated that the government has no plans to review the Abortion Act or change abortion law.

Abortion statistics, October 2012

Questions in the House of Lords, lead to Lord Howe responding with the following figures:

  • In 2011 in England and Wales there were 189,931 abortions.
  • The number of repeat abortions in the very young is going down. Of all women having an abortions in 2011, 36% had previously had an abortion.
  • 91% of abortions in England and Wales were carried out at under 13 weeks’ gestation.
  • 78% were carried out at under 10 weeks’ gestation. This compares to 57% in 2002.

Read Lord Howe's complete answers to questions about abortion.

40 Days of Choice, February–April 2012

We took part in the first 40 Days of Choice campaign to raise awareness of abortion rights and celebrate a woman’s right to choose.

Pregnancy choices counselling, December 2011

Women have a right to non-judgemental and evidence-based information about all their pregnancy choices. We sent a briefing to MPs emphasising this, ahead of a Parliamentary debate.

FPA and Brook's briefing on pregnancy choices counselling (PDF)

Pregnancy choices counselling amendments defeated, September 2011

Amendments attempting to prevent independent-sector abortion providers from giving decision-making support to women who access their services were defeated at Report Stage of the Health and Social Care Bill. Our joint briefing with Brook explains why we opposed the amendments.

A huge thank you to everyone who emailed their MP asking them to vote against the amendments.

Abortion information – the right to choose (Word)

Abortion information debate, November 2010

There was an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on the information provided to women before they have an abortion. We were concerned that issues including compulsory cooling off periods and the unproven links between abortion and mental health would be raised.

Our briefing on the adjournment debate (PDF).

Abortion in Northern Ireland debate, July 2009

A Westminster Hall debate on abortion in Northern Ireland saw MPs expressing their concern about the ongoing discrimination against women in Northern Ireland who are UK taxpayers but cannot access the same services as women in the rest of the UK.

We campaign for equal abortion rights for women in Northern Ireland.

Amending the 1967 Abortion Act, November 2008

A major debate on the Abortion Act 1967 took place during consideration of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Bill in 2008.

FPA supported MPs to put down amendments to the Bill to extend the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland. Unfortunately the amendments were not debated so abortion services in Northern Ireland remain subject to a Victorian law.