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BPAS fails in bid to change law to allow women to take abortion pills at home

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Issued on behalf of the Christian Legal Centre

Press Release

For Immediate Release

14 February 2011

BPAS fails in bid to change law to allow women to take abortion pills at home

In a landmark judgment today, the High Court has rejected a legal bid by BPAS (the British Pregnancy Advisory Service), a major abortion provider, to allow women to take some abortion pills at home rather than at a clinic.

BPAS had put forward a legal bid to loosen the law in this area by arguing that the wording of the Abortion Act 1967 needed to be interpreted in the light of new medical advances, one of which is the availability of abortion pills, where women are able to end their pregnancies by taking two different drugs. The first drug is always taken at a clinic and the wording of the Act meant that the second drug (which brings about the miscarriage of the baby) would also need to be taken at a clinic. However, BPAS argued that women should be able to take the second pill at home (which would keep costs down). The Court ruled that the Act did not allow the pills to be taken by women at home on their own.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said: “We welcome the Court’s decision and its unwillingness to interpret the Abortion Act in a way which could harm thousands of women and their families. It is a welcome message in a society which has been led to believe that abortion is an easy ‘answer’ to an unplanned pregnancy. This legal challenge was put forward by a major abortion provider despite the opposition of the Department of Health, and despite concerns about the safety and well-being of woman at home administering such a drug to themselves and inducing a miscarriage. Women need support during what can be a very traumatic time. If women self-abort in their own homes they could find it isolating and dangerous. Britain has some of the most liberal abortion laws in Europe and one of the highest abortion rates, and we need to reduce the number of abortions and tighten the law, not relax it.”

For further information contact:

Andrea Minichiello Williams on 07712 591 164

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