Welcome to the Lawyers for Choice blog.
Lawyers for Choice is a UK based organisation which believes that abortion should be regulated like any other medical procedure. We believe that women are in the best position to decide the outcomes of their pregnancies and can be trusted to make the decisions that are best for them in the light of their own moral and religious beliefs and their own personal situations. We are also committed to creating the conditions within which real reproductive choice may be exercised.
Today abortion is a simple and safe procedure, especially if performed within the first twelve weeks of a pregnancy (when over 9 out of 10 abortions take place). Complications are uncommon and there are many fewer risks involved than carrying a pregnancy to term. If specific criminal penalties relating to abortion were to be removed, this would not mean that abortion would be left unregulated. Rather, abortion would be treated in the same way as all other medical procedures. Dangerous and unsafe practice or non-consensual abortions would remain subject to appropriate criminal, civil and disciplinary sanction.
Removing specific criminal penalties relating to abortion would remove a clear anomaly in medical law. It would bring abortion law into line with the important general principle that patients must be allowed to make their own medical treatment decisions, with pregnant women no exception to this rule. We believe that this reform is a necessary part of ensuring women’s right to reproductive and sexual health.
Lawyers for Choice was established in 2016 with the aims of:
Campaigning for the removal of specific criminal prohibitions relating to abortion; for a change in the law to give women the right to make the abortion decision; and for the removal of clinically unnecessary restrictions on the provision of abortion services.
Offering informed analysis of the current law
Providing a source of expert opinion and research that can inform a reform process.
In this blog, we will host a variety of opinion pieces, written in a personal capacity, on the effects of decriminalization of abortion and various topical aspects of abortion law throughout the UK. Our blog is intended to provide those who agree with the broad aims of the organization with a safe space for thoughtful and respectful debate and discussion.
Within these parameters, disagreement is welcome but comments which are racist, anti-LGBT, or discriminatory will be deleted.
Each month we plan to pick a theme linking together the different posts. If you are interested in writing a topical piece about abortion services, abortion law or reproductive justice in the UK, please do get in contact with us.
This month our focus is on issues of conscientious objection. Objecting to the provision of services that would otherwise be contractually or legally required has been the subject of ongoing debate and controversy. This month our contributors offer a range of differing views on the extent to which these refusals are justified and whether they can or should be accommodated. These contributions detail a range of concerns from the philosophical underpinnings of how best we should understand the provision of medical care to more practical concerns about how clinical attitudes may impact on women’s experiences. All posts focus on how best to ensure that law and medical practice provide the optimum conditions for provision of abortion care.