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11 November 2009

AR update, 11 November 2009

Speeches from the Battle for Reproductive Choice; Later motherhood results in rise in Down's Syndrome pregnancies; UK government ordered to publish late abortion statistics, and more...

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Speeches from the Battle for Reproductive Choice:

- 1. ABORTION AND FERTILITY TREATMENT: WHOSE RIGHT TO CHOOSE?
By Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS.

‘It is because I have a firm belief that people should, and must, take responsibility for their decisions that I think that we need to be respectful of these choices, even when we do not agree with them. Tolerance of this freedom for others to decide what we would not is the price that we pay for living in a liberal society…’

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- 2. A DOCTOR’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE: THE DISHONESTY OF ENGLISH ABORTION LAW
By Sally Sheldon, professor of law at Kent Law School.

‘The English Parliament has shown a regrettable tendency to hand over controversial decisions regarding reproduction to clinicians rather than trusting women, or in certain circumstances couples, to make those decisions for themselves…The assumption embodied in the 1967 Abortion Act is that this deeply personal reproductive decision is better made by a clinician than by the woman herself…’

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- 3. THREE’S A CROWD? THE BATTLE OVER POPULATION AND REPRODUCTION
By Ellie Lee, co-ordinator of Pro-Choice Forum.

‘The pro-natalist and anti-natalist movements have more in common than sets them apart. Both consider it appropriate for reproductive decisions to become the subject of campaigns and crusades that seek to influence attitudes and behaviour in this area of life…’

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The Battle for Reproductive Choice took place at the Royal College of Art, London, on 31 October 2009, sponsored by BPAS and the Wellcome Trust. For further information, see here.

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RECENT ABORTION NEWS

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- 4. UK: LATER MOTHERHOOD RESULTS IN RISE IN DOWN’S SYNDROME PREGNANCIES

The number of Down’s Syndrome pregnancies has risen by more than 70% over the last 20 years, University of London researchers say; but the proportion of terminations has remained constant at 92%.

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- 5. UK: DFID PUBLISHES POLICY POSITION ON SAFE AND UNSAFE ABORTION

Safe abortion is a right and a necessity, says the Department for International Development.

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- 6. ‘ABORTION WORLDWIDE: A DECADE OF UNEVEN PROGRESS’

Restricting the availability of legal abortion does not appear to reduce the number of women trying to end unwanted pregnancies, a report by the Guttmacher Institute suggests.

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- 7. UK: GOVERNMENT ORDERED TO PUBLISH LATE ABORTION STATS

The Department of Health has been told to publish full data about the number of abortions carried out because of fetal abnormality.

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- 8. NORTHERN IRELAND: SPUC CHALLENGES ABORTION GUIDELINES

A legal challenge to government guidelines on abortion in Northern Ireland has begun at the High Court.

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