‘You can’t be a little bit pro-choice – you either are or you aren’t’

Ann Furedi, chief executive of bpas, answers your questions on abortion, free speech and the right to protest.

Ann Furedi

Topics Politics

This is a bit of random text from Kyle to test the new global option to add a message at the top of every article. This bit is linked somewhere.

Abortion provision is a contested matter, and some have chosen to nibble away at the edges, restricting access on the basis of limiting the grounds that abortion is provided or imposing time limits. What would you say to pro-choice activists who are willing to accept some of these strictures?

David Nolan, Washington, DC

I would say that you’re either in favour of a woman’s freedom of choice on abortion, or you’re not. You can no more be a bit pro-choice than you can be a bit pregnant. If support for a woman’s right to make her own reproductive decisions is not absolute, then it is not support for her freedom of choice; it is support for her freedom to make only the choice that you feel is appropriate.

This is not to say we should never support political compromise. Sometimes we need to. For example, I believe that a woman should have the right to decide on the future of her pregnancy, whatever her circumstances and whatever her reasons; I do not support a politically imposed time limit. However, I may end up defending the current 24-week limit in the UK against further restrictions – but it would be wrong for me to argue that the limited abortion access I am defending represents ‘freedom of choice’. It doesn’t. It’s a compromise that takes the choice away from a woman, and it’s important to be honest about that…

This is a preview of the October edition of spiked plus, our exclusive ‘magazine within a magazine’ for readers who make invaluable contributions to spiked‘s fundraising drive. To read the rest of the article, sign in, or sign up, to spiked plus here.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Topics Politics


Want to join the conversation?

Only spiked supporters and patrons, who donate regularly to us, can comment on our articles.

Join today