On 21 October, more than 220 people attended the Feminist Fightback conference at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London to discuss issues including socialist feminism, LGBT liberation, women workers’ struggles, low pay, sexual freedom, prostitution, women in the Middle East – and abortion rights. To mark the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act which legalised abortion in Britain, the organising session of the conference agreed to hold a torch-lit march for abortion rights in central London near International Women’s Day (which is 8 March). With anti-choice right-wingers currently on the offensive, we agreed that this protest is very important indeed.
Protestors will be meeting on Saturday 3 March from 6.30pm at the University of London
Union on Malet Street (Goodge Street, Euston, Euston Square or Russell Square tube), to march followed by a rally. This event is open to all (women and men). We will be demanding:
– No reduction in the 24-week time limit for access to abortion.
– The right to abortion on demand (this means an end to having to get the consent of two doctors) up to the legal time limit.
– The extension of abortion rights to women in Northern Ireland.
– Abortion to be integrated into the NHS as an ordinary medical service.
– An end to privatisation and fragmentation in the NHS; increased public funding to guarantee free and equal access to abortion.
– Improved access to and increased choice of publicly funded contraception.
– Clear, honest, comprehensive and confidential sexuality and relationship education for all children which addresses issues of consent and domestic violence.
– A real ‘right to choose’ which also means the right to have a child free from economic and social pressure. This requires a real living wage for all workers, benefits which can be lived on and rise with earnings, universal publicly funded childcare and an end to the stigmatisation of
Various things you can do:
– Officially support the march. If you, your women’s group or other organisation would like to do so, just get in touch with the organisers Debbie, Laura and Sofie at firstname.lastname@example.org
– Advertise the march as widely as possible by putting the information on websites, email lists etc, putting up posters, distributing leaflets (both of which can be downloaded for copying online).
– Bring a delegation on the march (letting Debbie, Laura or Sofie know in advance would be helpful for planning but just turning up on the day is fine – the more, the merrier!).
– Invite a speaker to your women’s group etc to tell you more about the march, Feminist Fightback, ENS Women or feminist activism generally!
A copyable poster and leaflet can now be downloaded from: http://www.srcf.ucam.org/~jmr59/downloads/
Thanks to Laura from the Feminist Fightback organising team for passing on the above text for adaptation on this site.