Defending women

The piece by Tiffany Jenkins 
(Perspective, 25 January) on sex selection and abortion rights was most welcome. Yet again we see MPs and anti-abortion groups seeking to amend the 1967 Abortion Act through sneaking in an amendment to a completely different piece of legislation at Westminster.

In this case, Fiona Bruce MP has brought forward her amendment on sex selection, in a last minute submission to the Serious Crime Bill. This purports to have the interests of women at heart, but the voices shouting loudest for support for the amendment include the Catholic Herald, Life, David Alton, all with track records in opposing the 1967 act and women’s access to safe, legal abortion services on the NHS.

Women must have the space and legal protection to make the decisions that are best for themselves and their families.

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Our movement has campaigned against every attack on the 1967 act, with the slogans “every child a wanted child, every mother a willing mother”, without judgment.

A tragic case was reported this week from Turkey, as Veysi Turan has been jailed for premeditated murder of Mubarek, his 33-
year-old wife, immediately after she gave birth to their second daughter.

The STUC will continue to campaign for a world in which women can live free from fear, be respected and valued for being female, not abused and violently assaulted or murdered for their gender.

Amending the Abortion Act with an ill-thought-out restriction will not advance women’s equality one bit, and will serve only to confuse and complicate service provision.

Will the next batch of amendments be on grounds of disability? Or income?

How will medical staff decide who to share scan information with? Who judges?

We ask all who argued to leave the powers on abortion law at Westminster, to speak up now, in defence of the provisions of the 67 Act, and in support of women.

Ann Henderson

Assistant secretary