On 3 March 2017, the RCOG celebrated International Women’s Day with an event focusing on ‘Abortion care: Our responsibility’.
Each year in England and Wales around 200,000 women have an abortion, making this the most common medical or surgical procedure performed in this country. Around one-third of British women will have had an abortion by the time they reach the age of 45.
Fifty years after the Abortion Act 1967, the RCOG has identified as a key priority the need to ensure today’s abortion services are sustainable into the future. Changes to the way abortion care is commissioned and delivered are having an impact on doctors’ access to training and women’s access to services, while the low prestige and stigma that can be associated with abortion care are affecting morale.
The aim of our International Women’s Day event was to ensure abortion is seen as a core part of women’s health services, not ‘somebody else’s business’. Expert speakers and advocates for abortion care provided insights into the challenges experienced in providing training in this area, what it’s like to work in abortion care, and the wider environment in which abortion services are delivered.
You can watch videos of the presentations via the links below:
- Introduction and welcome
Professor Lesley Regan, RCOG President, and Dr Asha Kasliwal, FSRH President
- The moral case for abortion
Ms Ann Furedi, Chief Executive, bpas
- Training and working in abortion care
Dr Tracey Masters, Vice President (Specialty), FSRH
- Why I’m passionate about my job as an abortion care provider
Dr Vinita Nair, Consultant Gynaecologist, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
- The effect of unintended pregnancy and abortion on mental health and wellbeing
Dr Edna Astbury-Ward, Senior Lecturer, School of Social and Life Sciences, Glyndwr University
- Recent technical advances in abortion care
Dr Patricia Lohr, Medical Director, bpas and Treasurer, British Society of Abortion Care Providers
- Commissioning abortion services in the UK
Mr Nigel Acheson, Regional Medical Director, NHS England South
Attendees also took part in a panel discussion looking at current clinical controversies in abortion care, as well as an interactive workshop exploring attitudes to abortion.
Find out more
For more information about International Women’s Day, please visit the UN website.
Our 2016 International Women’s Day event focused on ‘Joining up care in maternal mental health’. To view the presentations and download checklists and other resources, please visit the IWD 2016 page.
Our 2015 International Women’s Day event focused on ‘Working together to stop gender-based domestic violence’. To view the presentations and download a checklist with hints and tips for healthcare professionals, please visit the IWD 2015 page.