Tell the Health Secretary - abortion is healthcare

Dear Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Therese Coffey MP,

We, the undersigned, ask that you provide reassurance that you will not seek to restrict access to abortion in your capacity as Secretary of State for Health, and that you will be led by medical experts regarding any developments in abortion care and provision. More than 200,000 women a year end a pregnancy via NHS-funded abortion care services. These women deserve a Health Secretary who will seek to improve this vital aspect of women’s healthcare on the basis of clinical guidance.

Anti-abortion protest activity is escalating. Women and clinic staff are facing harassment and intimidation when accessing and providing an NHS-funded service. Women in the UK with complex medical conditions are being forced to continue pregnancies against their will because of a lack of appointments within NHS hospital settings. Abortion services are woefully underfunded and charity providers like BPAS are struggling to cope. There are currently two women in England facing up to life imprisonment for attempting the end their own pregnancies.

Every politician is entitled to hold their own opinion on abortion, but what matters is whether they would let their own personal beliefs stand in the way of women’s ability to act on their own convictions.

We urge you to provide clear and unequivocal reassurance that you will not attempt to restrict access to safe, legal abortion care in your new role as Secretary of State for Health and that you will be led by medical experts and clinical guidance.

Abortion is healthcare.

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