Charter for Choice

June 2017

Tesco joins Superdrug in slashing the price of Emergency Contraception

Since we launched the Just Say Non! campaign calling on major retailers to lower the price of emergency contraception, both Superdrug and Tesco have halved their prices to £13.50. Sadly, Boots has refused to do the same, stating that they are concerned about being accused “incentivising inappropriate use” and public disapproval. This is insulting, scientifically unfounded, and out of step with public opinion. Click here to tell Boots to review their decision, and “just say non” to this sexist surcharge.

Update: On 21st July, Boots issued a statement saying they were “truly sorry” and looking into cheaper alternatives. So far they have not reduced the price, despite their competitors Superdrug, Tesco and LloydsPharmacy all dropping theirs to £13.50. Click here to keep up the pressure on Boots.

Government grants funded abortions to Northern Irish women who travel

On 29th June, the government announced its decision to provide fully funded abortion care for Northern Irish women who travel to England for treatment. The announcement followed an amendment to the Queen’s Speech, which was tabled by Stella Creasy MP and supported by over 100 MPs from across the political parties and of course bpas. This is a significant step forwards for the women of Northern Ireland but not the end goal, and we will continue to campaign for abortion care to be accessible in Northern Ireland itself. The full govt announcement is online here. Thank you to everybody who emailed their MP – it made a huge difference!

British Medical Association votes to decriminalise abortion

Doctors from the British Medical Association have voted overwhelmingly in support of a change in the law to decriminalise abortion. The BMA’s medical ethics committee chair, Dr John Chisholm, said, “doctors were clear that abortion should be treated as a medical issue rather than a criminal one.” We couldn’t agree more. Click here to join our We Trust Women campaign to decriminalise abortion across the UK.

Over half of the women we saw last year used contraception

Of the women that came to bpas for a termination in 2016, over half (51.2%)were using contraception when they conceived, with 1 in 4 women using the most effective methods – either a hormonal contraceptive or a long acting reversible contraceptive (LARC). Moreover, women using hormonal methods (including LARCs) were more likely to present at a later gestation, as these methods can mask pregnancy symptoms and therefore delay detection. These figures remind us that no form of contraception is 100% effective: women will always need abortion to be available as a back-up when their normal birth control method lets them down.

The Abortion Act: 50 years on

Fifty years after the 1967 Abortion Act was passed, how well does it serve women today? In the week of the Act’s 50th anniversary, bpas will co-present a two-day conference in London to examine its impact, its shortcomings, and the scope for future reform. You can find more information and tickets online here.

Champion of Choice nomination: Stella Creasy MP

This month we nominate Stella Creasy MP, for securing government-funded abortion services in England for Northern Irish women. Thank you, Stella!