From The bpas team <[email protected]>
Subject Urgent: tell Boris to back women
Date March 25, 2020 8:54 AM
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Take action now to ensure women can access abortion care

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Dear John,

The Government is refusing to listen to scientific evidence on protecting women’s health during the pandemic. It’s cruel and it’s reckless.

Today, we need you to tell the Prime Minister to take urgent action as abortion services buckle and women with severe health conditions are placed at severe risk.

Tweet Boris now ([link removed][UNIQID])
Yesterday in the House of Commons, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock MP stated that there are no proposals to amend the abortion regulations to enable telemedicine for early abortion, as recommended by experts to ensure women can safely access services – despite the fact his Department had issued guidance the previous day, and then retracted it.

The Prime Minister must intervene – the most vulnerable women are at huge risk.

Send a message to the PM ([link removed][UNIQID])
Our abortion services cannot run under current pressures. We are only at the beginning of this epidemic, and already a quarter of our clinics have had to close, due to staff being ill or having to self-isolate. Further closures among NHS services are expected today. And this is only the beginning.

Over the next 13 weeks, as Covid-19 reaches its peak in the UK, 44,000 women will need an Early Medical Abortion. They may have to travel considerable distances, on public transport, as local services shut. That’s 44,000 unnecessary trips to a clinic if the Government continues to deny the opportunity for a telemedicine service. For some women, it’s life threatening.

Already, women have told us they’re having to make dreadful choices as they weigh up the risks:

“I’m a high risk individual due to my previous medical history and asthma. This has left me in a dire situation… Without provision of measures like this, I will either risk myself to COVID-19 while attempting to make my way to a later appointment, have to resort to illegal practices outside of the healthcare system or keep the pregnancy for longer which is harmful to both me and the child as it grows and develops.”

“My daughter is at risk of life-threatening complications from this virus… We have been advised for some time to practise social distancing to minimise risk, it is unfair to be put in this type of position…Given the severity of the situation and the current health advice there must be some type of provision for accessing the treatment without the need to physically attend the clinic.”

“Abortion is the only route I have as I am not allowed out due to the coronavirus….. My parents would disown me and kick me out if they were to find out or they may even harm me and I have so much ahead of me. I cannot afford to have a child right now at such a young age with no financial help…I beg you to please help me this is my only option.”

Please help us persuade the Government to urgently reconsider and introduce temporary measures – in line with guidance from medical bodies – to support abortion care during this crisis.

You can tweet the Prime Minister using the following link:

Tweet Boris now ([link removed][UNIQID])
Or send a message using the contact form online here:

Send a message to Boris Johnson ([link removed][UNIQID])

And finally, if you haven’t already done so, please email your MP using our online tool:

Email your MP now ([link removed][UNIQID])
Thank you for your support.

Best wishes,

The bpas team
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** Our work
We Trust Women

Under a law from 1861 any woman, anywhere in the UK, can go to prison for ending a pregnancy without the permission of two doctors. MPs support change, but we need the opportunity to make it happen. We are considering several legislative routes, including one based on the forthcoming Domestic Abuse Bill.
Preventing clinic protests

Anti-abortion activism targeted at clinics is on the rise in the UK. We are working to introduce buffer zones around abortion clinics to protect women and staff from intimidation and harassment. So far two buffer zones have been introduced, and more are in the pipeline.
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The two-child benefits cap pushes families into poverty and impacts women's reproductive decisions. We are working with other UK charities to fight it. Read our briefing here ([link removed][UNIQID]) .
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Our campaign for accessible emergency contraception has seen prices slashed across major pharmacy chains. We're now working to make it available straight from the pharmacy shelf, without a mandatory consultation – as already happens in the USA, Canada, and many European countries.
Improving access to contraception

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Our contraceptive counselling & well woman advice service in Europe's largest women’s prison, HMP Bronzefield, was an RCNi Nurse Awards ([link removed][UNIQID]) finalist. We provide confidential, non-judgemental counselling & education to aid women's wellbeing & rehabilitation.
Decriminalisation further afield

We’ve been working with pro-choice campaigners and the governments of the Isle of Man and Gibraltar to change their laws outlawing abortion and help them provide care for their citizens.

Women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy are bombarded with public health messages, for example about what to eat, drink, how much they should weigh, and what medications they should or shouldn’t take. The WRISK project ([link removed][UNIQID]) aims to understand and improve the communication of risk in pregnancy, to make things better for women.

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