By Saomai Vu Khan
One of the most complex and controversial debates of our time surrounds the right to abortion. Throughout the 20th century, activists such as Stella Browne, Janet Chance, and Joan Malleson fought for abortion rights, with efforts eventually succeeding with the passage of the Abortion Act in 1967. Since then, abortions in Great Britain have been easily accessible on certain grounds, for example to prevent harm to a woman’s physical or mental health. However, some argue that the law has not gone far enough in this respect, with some campaigners now believing that no explanation or reason should be required for the procedure to take place. This then leads to the inevitable question of our time; should abortions be available on demand?
One person who would answer ‘yes’ to this question is Rosamund Scott who, in her article ‘Risks, Reasons and Rights: The European Convention on Human Rights and English Abortion Law’ (2015), argues that the UK should consider ‘abortion law reform, particularly in relation to the first trimester, towards a more autonomy-focused, though time limited, rights-based approach’. S 1(1)(a) of the Abortion Act 1967 requires that, in order for an abortion to be legal...Read more