Decriminalise and defend the right to choose

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2022 Virtual National Women's Conference
15 October 2021

This Conference notes:

• The near total ban on abortion in Texas by restricting it to the first 6 weeks of gestation, a time when most people don’t even know that they are pregnant

• That this threatens the Roe vs Wade ruling of 1973 that made abortion legal in the US.

• The huge surge of anger and resistance to this attack with large demonstration in 50 US states on 2 October challenging the Texan ruling and demanding that women and people have the right to access abortion care.

• We are proud that UNISON supported a solidarity march called by Abortion Rights UK on 2 October to the American Embassy and a number of our London branches attended with their banners.

This Conference believes:

• Any attack on abortion rights anywhere in the world is an attack on us all.

• The Texas ruling gives confidence to anyone who wants to see women and people forced to the back streets.

• The right to abortion is under severe attack in other countries around the world such as Hungary and Poland.

• Abortion is a class issue. Rich women and people can always access abortion whatever the legal status. It is working class women and people who will suffer.

• We cannot be complacent in the UK – abortion is still a criminal offence on the statute book and that has to be removed.

• In Northern Ireland whilst abortion is now legal, the lack of access to health care means women and people still have to travel to access abortion.

• Abortion Rights UK plays a pivotal role in defending abortion rights and fighting for safe, free, legal abortions.

• Access to abortion is a trade union issue and with over a million women in our union we believe passionately in defending a women or persons right to choose.

This Conference resolves:

• To ask the National Women’s committee to work with the relevant structures in our union to keep members informed about the ongoing fight to defend abortion rights.