Tuesday 15 January 2008

Stand up for the Pro-Choice Majority!

Genitals and Ladymen: we are mobilising. Having been up all night writing leaflets for Feminist Fightback, here's our stance on pro-choice, a la Pennyred, which will be handed out at various freezing demos over the next few weeks. For those of you who'd rather stay in and stroke the laptop (a very fine plan) here it is in black, white and reddish-pink:

Defend and extend abortion rights.

We believe - no, we know -that women deserve choice. Hard won reproductive freedoms for which previous generations of women have fought are currently facing serious threat. Anti-choice campaigners are using the issue of the time limit to launch their attack on all our reproductive rights. Restricting late abortions will be an initial step towards further limitation of access to our vitally important right to terminate pregnancy legally. In the UK only 1% of abortions are carried out after 22 weeks. Those who do seek terminations after this time are often the most vulnerable of women- young girls, women who did not know they were pregnant and non-english speakers. Abortion legislation needs to be based upon the right to reproductive freedom rather than on tenuous debates about foetal viability.

The pro-choice majority needs to make its voice heard. The anti-choice lobby is becoming increasingly vocal and aggressive in its attacks on women’s rights. In October 2007 they marched through London chanting ‘Women Have a Right to Keep their Legs Shut’, yet still claiming to believe that ‘women deserve better’. We believe that women deserve freedom. The pro-choice majority needs to mobilise a mass movement to show that we are not willing to turn back the clock on reproductive freedoms. We need to do more than simply lobby in parliament: we must get out on the streets and remind people why women will always need access to safe, legal abortions. Feminist Fightback supports proposals in parliament to increase access to terminations early on in a pregnancy but this should not be passed at the cost of restrictions on the time limit. We will countenance no compromise on reproductive freedoms!

We oppose any reduction in the 24-week time limit for access to abortion.

We demand the right to abortion on request (ending the stipulation that a woman get the consent of 2 doctors) up to the legal time limit. We demand that abortion be integrated into the NHS as an ordinary medical service. We demand an end to privatisation and fragmentation in the NHS: increased public funding to guarantee free and equal access abortion. And we demand the extension of abortion rights to women in Northern Ireland.

And that's not all we fussy, selfish women want for ourselves and our daughters. We want improved access to and increased choice of publicly funded contraception. We want honest, comprehensive and confidential sexuality and relationship education for all children, addressing issues of consent and of domestic violence. Most of all, we want a real ‘right to choose’ - this includes the right to have a child free from economic and social pressure. This will require a real living wage for all workers, benefits which can finance a decent standard of living and which rise with earnings, universal publicly funded childcare and an end to the stigmatisation of single mothers.

-and we'd like it soon, with ribbons on and possibly a flask of hot tea, because it's getting a bit nippy out here. Thanks.

Feminist Fightback is a multi-aligned, cross-generational organisation working towards defending and extending the rights, welfare and social freedom of women everywhere. For more information about Feminist Fightback, or to offer your support, visit www.feministfightback.org.uk.


  1. I would like to make it clear firstly that I am not anti choice, I personally don't think that I could have an abortion and I don't think it is right in a way, but I do think it is right that a woman chooses, and I am also for some easing of the way abortions are obtained (like having to see 2 doctors etc.) But while I see your point about abortions after 22 weeks I disagree. If a baby can survive and be healthy at 23 or 24 weeks it seems wrong to me that you should be able to just get rid of it (if it is healthy). I don't see that this opinion is contradictory to my being pro choice, I just think that if you could get an abortion more easily it shouldn't be necessary to have to have one after 22 weeks.

  2. I agree totally with your comments on abortion (of course), but I absolutely disagree that having a child is a right. Especially free of economic sanctions- (I hope) most people wouldn't get a pet if they couldn't feed it, so why have a baby? Also, I don't know how much truth there is in this generalisation, but people worry that people have babies to get benefits- sounds unlikely to me, but could be a concern if it's true. Also, isn't making it a right a little one-sided? It could only ever be a right for women- no man can force a woman to have a baby (thank goodness). Not only is it unfair that for one gender it's a right and for the other it isn't, but it would serve to reinforce the "babies are a woman's business" culture that I'd hope we can move away from. I realise that a woman's right to decide to have an abortion is also an unfair advantage over a man who decides that he doesn't want to be a father, but I believe that a man should be entitled to having no legal parent status and rights in exchange for no financial responsibilities, as the closest thing possible to an equal alternative. Rose xxx

  3. Hey there Penny Red.. its the black short wearing , black spikey haired guy in cyberdog you met today ( 21/1/08 ) im the one you got talking to for a bit about your career - i work for sky

    I do believe in Choice especially with the way things are now with rapes and alike going on . I think a woman should never be forced to have to commit to something she cannot look after/ deal with and alike.

    I didnt realise you had mnentioned abortion rights ( funny we got speaking about it today in cyberdog ) but yea this makes interesting reading .. my no .. want to discuss more with you :-)
    07527895221 my email is jaffa-d-cakka2@fsmail.net pleaseee mail me or txt :-)


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