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Dear John,

At BPAS we are committed to defending and extending reproductive choice. From abortion to infant feeding, contraception to birth method, we are here to advocate for reproductive rights, and for accessible, evidence-based reproductive health services to ensure that those rights can be exercised.

This week is national fertility week, so here's a round-up of our work on IVF – and why it matters so much. 
Email your MP

Why are BPAS campaigning to improve access to IVF?

It’s clear there are many problems today with how people are able to access fertility services. The current postcode lottery leaves many people unable to access NHS-funded care, and private clinics are very expensive - and may not always be transparent

We see parallels between today’s fertility services and the way abortion care developed in this country when the law was changed in 1967: women were frequently unable to access NHS-funded treatment and were forced to seek the help of private providers, often at extortionate prices. We were established more than 50 years ago to provide women with a not-for-profit, high-quality alternative in the absence of NHS-funded services, while simultaneously campaigning for the right of all women to access funded care.

Today, abortion services are an accepted part of NHS-funded healthcare, and standards across the sector are extremely high. Our advocacy and campaigning ensures that it stays that way.

We aim to take the same approach to fertility services - we will be launching our very own not-for-profit, evidence-based service in 2021.

Watch our Director of Embryology, Marta, explain more about our ethical, fair fertility service.
Our Director of Embryology, Marta Jansa Perez
Stop the clock campaign

It may be national fertility week, but it’s also a week of increased restrictions and ongoing anxiety due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In England, a second national lockdown is on the cards, but there is currently no guidance to support fertility patients facing delays during this time.
Last time there was a lockdown, all fertility services closed completely, causing delays that are still having an impact now. Yesterday, the HFEA issued much needed reassurance that there are currently no plans for another national closure of fertility clinics. But services are still not operating at full capacity after the first wave, and waiting lists are growing longer. And while patients are waiting, they are getting closer to the strict age limits for NHS care. Due to the postcode lottery, in some areas of England the age limits for NHS funding are as low as 34 years old. 

Going through fertility treatment at a time like this is stressful enough without worrying you will run out of time due to the pandemic. This week, MPs are urging the Health Secretary to “stop the clock” for fertility patients in England, to match commitments already made in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Tell your MP to join the call now:
Email your MP
Other news this national fertility week... 
‘Fight for IVF’ petition

Amber Izzo suffers from polycystic ovaries and blocked fallopian tubes. She created the ‘Fight for IVF’ campaign documenting her fertility treatment. Like Amber, we agree that the IVF postcode lottery in England is unfair
and unjust. We are campaigning for CCGs to be held accountable and follow NICE guidance – offering fair IVF.
You can sign Amber’s petition to fight against the IVF postcode lottery here.

We have been documenting the worrying extent of the IVF postcode lottery and its consequences for patients. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend 3 NHS-funded cycles of IVF for all women under the age of 40, but over 80% of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) fail to offer this, meaning access to IVF depends hugely on your postcode.
Our report this summer highlighted the systemic problem with fertility funding, and the true scale of fertility inequality between regions.

     • Just 23 CCGs, out of 135, fund 3 cycles of IVF
     • 14 CCGs only offer IVF to women under 35
     • 48% of CCGs make no provision for single women

We believe that access to any form of healthcare should be rooted in clinical evidence. It’s deeply unfair that systemic problems with funding have created a fertility pot-luck, with devastating consequences for some patients.

How it feels to be "cut adrift" after IVF

In a new piece published by HuffPost UK, three women bravely share their experience of struggling after IVF - even though it had resulted in a pregnancy. No matter what the outcome of fertility treatments, comprehensive emotional support is so important. Read their stories here

Become a Friend of BPAS

You can support our work defending and extending reproductive rights by becoming a Friend of BPAS, from as little as £2 per month. 
Sign up!

BPAS campaigns

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.

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. 

Fighting the two-child benefits cap

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.

Just Say Non!

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

We're working with pharmacists nationwide to improve access to several methods of contraception, including the injection and the pill. 

Working with women in prisons

Our contraceptive counselling & well woman advice service in Europe's largest women’s prison, HMP Bronzefield, was an RCNi Nurse Awards 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 aims to understand and improve the communication of risk in pregnancy, to make things better for women. 

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