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Campaigners demand abortion is decriminalised in the UK

This news post is over 8 years old

Archaic laws mean women can still be imprisoned for terminating a pregnancy

A poignant video has been released challenging outdated laws by which women can be imprisoned if they have an abortion without the consent of two doctors.

Viewers of the video are encouraged to join the We Trust Women campaign to decriminalise abortion and to raise awareness of greater gender equality.

Humans actress Gemma Chan appears in the short film which was created using laser cuts of intricate hand drawn illustrations that depict prominent dates throughout the history of women’s rights.

Shot in one take, the images are revealed as the purple paint runs behind them on a single sheet of seven-foot-long paper.

Under the Abortion Act 1967, it is a legal requirement for two medical practitioners to sign a form notifying the grounds under which an abortion is carried out.

Both practitioners must justify their opinion that at least one ground for termination of pregnancy exists, and they agree on that same ground.

Only in emergency circumstances involving grave risk to the life or mental health of a woman may a doctor act alone.

It comes as anti-abortion campaigners plan to picket a Glasgow hospital during Lent to protest against terminations being carried out on the NHS.

Members of the 40 Days For Life group will stage a vigil outside the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Govan, Glasgow, from today (10 February) until 20 March.

The group said it has permission from both the hospital and Police Scotland and that picketers would not harass any individuals entering or leaving the hospital. Similar pickets will take place at hospitals around the world.

A statement from the group read: "From 10 February 10 to 20 March, our community will take part in 40 Days for Life, a ground-breaking, coordinated international mobilisation.

"We pray that, with God’s help, this will mark the beginning of the end of abortion in our city and beyond."

The movement was founded in the US in 2005 and describes itself as "a community-based campaign that takes a determined, peaceful approach to showing local communities the consequences of abortion in their own neighbourhoods, for their own friends and families".

The group claims to "cooperate with God in the carrying out of His plan for the end of abortion" using a three-point programme of prayer and fasting, constant vigil and community outreach.

Ross Colquhoun, 40 Days For Life's international outreach director, said he thought the Glasgow vigil "could be one of the strongest campaigns we've had in the UK".



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Paul Atkin
over 8 years ago
Decriminalisation would remove any legal controls on abortion. Without legal safeguards abortion would be legal just because the child is a girl - the so called gender selection abortions. It was also be legal at any time in pregnancy - right up to the moment of birth.There are many opinions and views on this subject but most people agree that we should be trying to reduce the 12,000 abortions which take place in Scotland every year.This campaign is totally out of step with public opinion
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