Under consideration PE1969: Amend the law to fully decriminalise abortion in Scotland

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to bring forward legislation to fully decriminalise abortion services in Scotland and make provisions to ensure abortion services are available up to the twenty-fourth week of pregnancy across all parts of Scotland.

Previous action taken

I have written to my local and regional MSPs calling for the abortion rights summit. I received a response from Tom Arthur MSP, which included a response from the Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport.

I have also contributed to and signed open letters calling for policy reform.

Background information

Abortion is not decriminalised in Scotland. The Offences Against the Person Act 1861 made abortion a criminal offence (punishable with life in prison in the U.K.) The Abortion Act 1967 did not actually decriminalise abortion (it means a patient cannot be prosecuted under certain conditions). The 1967 Act set out criteria to make abortion permissible. These criteria include two doctors’ signatures confirming that certain conditions have been met, e.g. that continuing the pregnancy would cause severe physical or mental harm to the pregnant person. The conditions of Abortion Act 1967 ignore a great many reasons for seeking an abortion including rape, incest, poverty or simply not wanting to be pregnant. This means women remain at risk of prosecution for choosing to end their pregnancy.

  • Created by Gemma Clark
  • Considered from 21 September 2022
  • Petitions can collect signatures until the petition has been closed

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