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Essays and analysis

20 May 2015

An International Summit on Reproductive Choice

At the Lisbon 2014 summit, more than 70 advocates, service providers and academics from across the globe discussed how best to defend and advance women’s reproductive choices. This publication offers perspectives on thorny issues such as later abortion, fetal pain, sex selection and fetal anomaly.

8 September 2014

Q&A – Extremely premature babies

Improvements in the survival of babies born at over 24 weeks' gestation is a cause for celebration. But what is the prognosis for babies born at lower gestations? And what do the issues involved in the care of extremely preterm infants have to do with 'time limit' for abortion?

2 July 2014

Q&A – What if you don’t breastfeed your baby?

The health benefits of breastfeeding tend to be presented as overwhelming, and imply that formula feeding will cause health problems. But the evidence shows a far less drastic difference between breastfed and formula-fed babies.

18 May 2014

Q&A – Britain’s abortion law

This Q&A explains what does the 1967 Abortion Act does; what it means for doctors to 'act in good faith'; what 'risk to health' means; why it is legal to terminate a pregnancy because of a woman's social or financial circumstances; the legal situation surrounding abortion for fetal sex and the pre-signing of authorisation forms; and why the British law does not give women 'abortion on demand'.

5 February 2014

Analysis: Drinking in pregnancy – what do we know?

Health professionals and policymakers are drawing increasing attention to women’s alcohol consumption during pregnancy: to the point where women who are pregnant, or thinking of becoming pregnant, are officially advised to abstain from alcohol altogether. But how much do we know about the effects of alcohol upon the developing fetus? And does this justify the current guidance?

3 February 2014

Analysis: What’s the problem with older mothers?

This Q&A reviews the scientific and medical debates about later motherhood, seeking a balance between understanding the biological barriers to having babies in later life, and the lived reality – that many women do have healthy pregnancies in their late thirties. It situates this discussion in its wider social context, and indicates the policy implications that might flow from a trend towards later maternal age.

15 January 2014

Q&A – Sex ratios and abortion

What is the basis for the Independent's extraordinary claim that the ‘commonplace’ practice of sex selection abortion has led to ‘between 1,400 and 4,700’ missing girls in Britain?

8 January 2014

Abortion law: the lessons from Spain

In an unstable climate, neither legal principles nor political pragmatism can prevent women and doctors from finding themselves suddenly exposed to criminal sanction. By Jennie Bristow, editor, Reproductive Review.

7 January 2014

Q&A – The Spanish abortion law

The Spanish government has approved a restrictive new law that would make abortion illegal except in very limited circumstances. Voices from around the world have condemned this move. Here, we discuss how the proposed new law differs from previous Spanish legislation on abortion, and what this is likely to mean for women and the doctors who care for them.

5 December 2013

Forced C-sections and stolen babies

The Alessandra Pacchieri case looks like the 'stuff of nightmares', but the problems it highlights are real. By Jennie Bristow.

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