Tensions in abortion law and policy, and effects on women

The third in our series of videos, this presentation focuses on the tensions between the legal and policy framework for abortion, and women’s abortion experiences, throughout the UK.

Dr Lesley Hoggart and Dr Sally Sheldon report on a mixed methods study into different aspects of young women’s experiences (aged 16-24) of one or more unintended pregnancies ending in abortion in England and Wales.

One key finding was that despite most abortions following contraceptive failures, women still internalised shame and blame. This reflects the continued stigmatisation of abortion. They then drew on a recently completed study of the home use of abortion pills in Northern Ireland (and elsewhere – this is relevant to the Isle of Man), highlighting some of the ways in which the current law fails either to prevent abortion or to protect women’s health.

At a time when it is possible to end a pregnancy using pills that are readily available on line, it assesses some of the challenges for effective regulation and poses some fundamental questions regarding the need for legal reform.


To read their presentation, follow this link:

The video is about 20 minutes long, but you can read the presentation here.



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