These are our Champions of Choice. They are people who have campaigned for or dedicated much of their working lives to supporting women’s reproductive choice. We celebrate their commitment and believe they are an inspiration to us all.
A true pioneer of change, Diane was a central member of the Abortion Law Reform Association (ALRA) which made the 1967 Abortion Act possible. Having been vice chairman and main spokesperson since 1963 Diane took over as general secretary in 1968. She went on to help found the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) where she worked for many years defending women’s reproductive rights in the media and with policymakers during a time of significant attacks on abortion care. Diane’s enduring commitment to women’s reproductive autonomy continues to inspire activists and campaigners today. Read Diane’s piece on why we need to decriminalise abortion here.
Professor Wendy Savage has devoted her life to women’s health. She has been the co-ordinator and Press officer for Doctors for a Woman’s Choice on Abortion since 1976 and was the first female consultant appointed in obstetrics and gynaecology at the London Hospital and has always been a passionate advocate for her patients. Wendy is a huge inspiration to the next generation of abortion doctors and is tireless in her work to ensure women get access to safe, legal abortion.
An influential and passionate network of student-led projects based at universities within the UK who are committed to enabling young people to make informed decisions about their sexual health. They are strong advocates for sexual and reproductive rights and run important informal sex and relationship sessions in their local areas. By providing these sessions the students ensure that young people have the skills to access sources of confidential advice, empowering them to make informed choices about their bodies and sexual and reproductive health.
A leading campaigner for abortion, birth control and reproductive rights Dilys was a key member of the Abortion Law Reform Association (ALRA), who lead the calls for the 1967 Abortion Act and made this revolution in women’s reproductive rights possible. Following her role as Secretary of ALRA Dilys went on to be General Secretary of the Birth Control Campaign where she campaigned for free contraception on the NHS. Dilys made many more contributions to the development of reproductive rights through her involvements with IPPF, FPA, Brook and IPAS making her an invaluable Champion of Choice.
Lisa is a leading campaigner for women’s reproductive rights and her role as Chair of Voice for Choice means that she works tirelessly to ensure that women have choice on abortion. Lisa has fought hard over the years to protect and extend abortion rights in the United Kingdom and over many years at Education for Choice she advocated for young peoples’ sexual and reproductive health and rights. Lisa’s lasting commitment to women’s reproductive autonomy makes her a vital Champion of Choice.
Sarah is co-chair of the campaigning organisation Fertility Fairness where she campaigns for people to have comprehensive and equal access to a full range of appropriate NHS investigations and treatments for infertility; this includes the right to access up to three full cycles of IVF treatment free on the NHS. In her role as Director of the Progress Educational Trust, Sarah chaired and drove a group of clinicians, patient support groups, scientists and medical research charities which fed into important policy for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology ACT 2008 as it passed through both Houses of Parliament. Sarah’s instrumental work at Fertility Fairness and policy work at the Progress Educational Trust make her an invaluable Champion of Choice for equitable access to fertility treatment.
Dr Reynolds-Wright is an Academic Foundation Trainee with a programme focus on genitourinary medicine and HIV. Throughout his medical training he has been passionate about sexual health and abortion care and embedding these within training programmes. He has worked with Sexpression:UK to educate the next generation of medical professionals, and is a strong advocate for women’s right to abortion – and for the need for doctors to be trained and willing to provide that care.
We nominate Clare Daly TD as a Champion of Choice for her brave and important campaign to bring abortion rights on to the political agenda in Ireland. She has spoken out at the Coalition to Repeal the 8th Amendment calling for urgent action, as well at the March for Choice. In a country where politicians fighting for women’s reproductive rights are a rarity, Clare’s commitment and passion in the battle for reproductive choice make her an invaluable Champion of Choice.
They are a vital charity committed to ending inequality and improving the health and well-being of pregnant women, partners and young children. They work tirelessly to provide information, advice and training on maternity rights. Their extremely important #Motherswork campaign – calling on the Government to take action on pregnancy discrimination – makes them invaluable Champions of Choice.
We nominate Lord Rooker as our champion of choice this month for his continued fight for the fortification of flour with folic acid, or as he refers to it: “flour power”. His Private Member’s Bill, calling for fortification of flour to reduce neural tube defects, has successfully passed onto committee stage. We wish him the best of luck and thank him for his commitment to sparing women the painful decision of having to end a wanted pregnancy after a diagnosis of neural tube defect.