Decriminalisation of abortion
Doctors and medical students in the UK have voted in support of the decriminalisation of abortion for women who self-administer abortions and healthcare professionals who provide abortions within the context of their clinical practice. Abortion should be treated as a medical issue rather than a criminal one.
Background to the vote
The vote took place at the end of June during the British Medical Association’s (BMA) Annual Representative Meeting (ARM), where representatives of doctors and medical students from across the British Isles gathered to set BMA policy through democratic procedures.
Representatives considered the issue of decriminalisation during a 2-hour debate, where diverse and opposing viewpoints were heard. The debate was informed by a neutral discussion paper that was published by the BMA in February, which provided a guide to some of the key legal and ethical issues raised by the debate around decriminalisation.