Abortion is still illegal in the UK, thanks to this Victorian law

Topic Selected: Abortion

General Article icon Type: General Article
This article is 4 years old. Click here to view the latest articles for this topic.

Abortion is still illegal in the UK, thanks to this Victorian law

Sally Sheldon, University of Kent

You probably know that abortion services are available in Britain on the National Health Service. What you may not know is that abortion is still potentially punishable by life imprisonment. That includes terminations very early in a pregnancy.

Abortion is still a criminal offence in the UK under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. It is legal only when carried out under conditions of strict medical control.

As things stand, a terrified teenager, who takes abortion drugs that she has bought over the internet rather than tell anyone that she is pregnant, is committing a crime that is punishable by life imprisonment.

<

Would you like to see the rest of this article and all the other benefits that Issues Online can provide with?

Sign up now for an immediate, no obligation FREE TRIAL and view the entire collection