British Pregnancy Advisory Service logo

21 June 2010

AR update, 21 June 2010

Keeping abortion decisions in context; teenagers and 'repeat abortions', government guidelines challenged in Northern Ireland; should women's healthcare needs take priority over doctors' beliefs?; and more ...

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- 1. KEEPING ABORTION DECISIONS IN CONTEXT

By Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS.

‘The revelation in the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper on 6 June 2010 that some assisted conceptions end in abortion was bound to cause consternation.

‘Increasingly, abortion has become accepted as a necessary back-up to contraception, essential to help women avoid unplanned, unintended pregnancies. But the abortion of carefully planned, deliberately conceived pregnancies does not fit into this framework of understanding.

‘When the Sunday Times contacted me for comment it was to discuss whether these abortions were a consequence of unscrupulous infertility doctors “rushing” women into ill-considered treatment; a lack of counselling offered to women seeking treatment; or a sign of a “throwaway” consumerist society where pregnancy might seen as nice one day and nasty the next.

‘But the explanation is obviously none of the above. The truth is that women who have help to become pregnant are still exposed to all the difficult stuff of life that blows ordinarily fertile women off their planned reproductive course…’

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Also read:

- 2. UK: ABOUT 80 IVF PREGNANCIES PER YEAR END IN ABORTION

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- 3. SHOULD WOMEN’S HEALTHCARE NEEDS TAKE PRIORIY OVER DOCTORS’ BELIEFS?

Jennie Bristow, editor of Abortion Review, comments on an important new report on conscience and refusal clauses.

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- 4. TEENAGERS AND ‘REPEAT ABORTIONS’: CONTRACEPTION IS NOT A MAGIC BULLET

Lisa Hallgarten, director of Education For Choice, comments on media claims that that 89 girls aged 17 or under who terminated a pregnancy last year had had at least two abortions previously.

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Also read:

- 5. UK: CONTROVERSY OVER TEENAGE ‘REPEAT ABORTIONS’

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- 6. NORTHERN IRELAND: ANTI-ABORTION CAMPAIGNERS CHALLENGE GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has won permission to seek a judicial review of the controversial guidance.

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- 7. NORTHERN IRELAND: ABORTION LAW SHOULD CHANGE, GYNAECOLOGISTS SUGGEST

A survey claims that the majority of gynaecologists in Northern Ireland ‘do not support the current abortion law as it stands’.

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- 8. UK: REACTION TO TV ABORTION ADVERT

The first television advert for abortion, broadcast by Marie Stopes International, has generated positive and negative responses. 

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- 9. UK: CHRISTMAS ADVERT REVEALED

Protestant Churches are joining forces in an advertising campaign that shows a scan of ‘baby Jesus in the Virgin Mary’s womb’, complete with halo.

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- 10. USA: PALIN CALLS FOR CONSERVATIVE, ANTIBORTION FEMINISM

Sarah Palin, the former governor for Alaska, has provoked a barrange of commentary with her claims that women who oppose abortion rights are responsible for an ‘emerging, conservative, feminist identity’ and have the power to shape politics and elections around the issue.

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EVENT

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- 11. PREGNANCY AND PREGNANCY PLANNING IN THE NEW PARENTING CULTURE

This two day seminar on 22-23 June 2010, organised by Parenting Culture Studies and the Kent Centre for Law Gender and Sexuality at the University of Kent, UK, and supported by BPAS and the Economic and Social Research Council, will discuss the relationship between reproductive autonomy and a culture of ‘intensive parenting’. 

Speakers include:

—KRISTIN LUKER, Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt Professor of Law and Professor of Sociology, University of California: ‘Abortion and the politics of motherhood revisited’

—RACHEL JONES, Senior Research Associate, Guttmacher Institute, New York: ‘Abortion decision making in a culture of “intensive motherhood”’

—DANIELLE BASSETT, Charlotte Ellertson Social Science Postdoctoral Fellow, Ibis Reproductive Health, Cambridge, MA: ‘Pregnancy after abortion: women’s experiences of a stigmatised reproductive career’

For details, see here.

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