The Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) is encouraged by the announcement of Minister for Health Simon Harris that abortion care will be provided for on a universal basis so that cost will not be a barrier in accessing services.
“The Abortion Rights Campaign has long campaigned on the principle that abortion must be freely and fully accessible to everyone who wants or needs one, so we welcome the announcement that cost will not be a barrier for women to access abortion.” said spokesperson Linda Kavanagh.
She continues, “If abortion services are only available through private health care providers or at a restrictive cost, women of lower socio-economic means will be unable to access them. It would also be prohibitive for people who do not have access to their own finances – for example those in abusive relationships or living in direct provision. Removing cost barriers also allows people to access abortions earlier. Abortion care needs to be provided as a government-funded public health service.”
“We also welcome safe access zones as a policy under this legislation. Accessible abortion must include healthcare free from stigma, shame, and fear. The 10 people a day who currently travel to the UK are only too aware of the distress that anti-choice protestors can cause outside clinics. We all expect privacy, dignity, and safety in our healthcare and this must include abortion care.”
“We await the conclusion of the court proceedings and the legislation. We will be keeping a close eye on developments as we cannot allow waiting periods and refusal of care on conscience grounds to become barriers to access.”
On September 29th the Abortion Rights Campaign will be holding its 7th annual March for Choice. The theme this year is “Free, Safe, Legal”, a slogan we have always rallied behind. This will be a celebration of the emphatic referendum win as well as a show of strength for support for access to abortion for anyone who wants or needs one.