“I told my Mum I was going on an R.E trip” now available on iPlayer

The Performance Live, BBC and Arts Council England commissioned TV piece “I told my Mum I was going on an R.E trip” was aired on BBC Two on Saturday 20 January 2018 at 11.15pm. For those who missed the live broadcast, it is available on BBC iPlayer from 20 January to 20 February 2018.

“I told my Mum I was going on an R.E. Trip…”

 Young women’s stories of abortion, in their own words. Written by Julia Samuels. Directed for television by Lindy Heymann.

Adapted from Contact and 20 Stories High’s 2017 touring theatre show, “I told my Mum I was going on an R.E. Trip…” is a frank drama told verbatim through the voices of four young women.

The show will be broadcast on BBC Two with an introduction from Julie Hesmondhalgh, and poses the question: What would happen if we started to talk openly about abortion?

Featuring interviews from Great Britain, Northern Ireland and beyond, we meet health professionals, women, men and young people on all sides of the debate.


BSACP Request for Evidence for Home Office Review of Protest Activity Outside Abortion Clinics

[NB. Closing date for submissions: Monday 5 February 2018]

The Home Office has been tasked by the Home Secretary to undertake an evidence-based in-depth assessment of protest activity and other related pro-life activity outside abortion clinics following concerns about the actions of some campaigners. The text of Sarah Gawley’s letter is included in full below.

The Home Office have requested BSACP participation through an online questionnaire that can be accessed at the following link: https://www.homeofficesurveys.homeoffice.gov.uk/s/8KA5N/

BSCAP wishes to do this by collating feedback from its UK-based members and others working in the field of abortion care provision.

We would be grateful if you could submit your response/and comments to admin@bsacp.org.uk by Monday 5 February 2018 latest to give us sufficient time to collate the responses we receive and compile BSACP’s submission to the Home Office.

We are very keen to include responses from clinicians from a wide range of abortion provision centres so do please feel free to forward this e-mail to relevant colleagues.

Just because BSACP is submitting an organisational response to the Home Office doesn’t mean that individuals/clinics/providers cannot also make their own separate submission.

Many thanks in anticipation. Kate Guthrie and Jo Fletcher (BSACP Co-Chairs)

Janie Foote

BSACP Administrator

Tel: +44 (0)1243 538106

E-mail: admin@bsacp.org.uk

Website: www.bsacp.org.uk


Police Powers Unit

2 Marsham Street

London SW1P 4DF

T 020 7035 4848

F 020 7035 4745


Dr Kate Guthrie and Joanne Fletcher

Co-Chairs – British Society of Abortion Care Providers

British Society of Abortion Care Providers

Office 34, New House

67–68 Hatton Garden

London EC1N 8JY

17 January 2018

Dear Dr Guthrie and Mrs Fletcher

Abortion Clinic Protests Review

The Home Secretary has asked my team to undertake an in-depth assessment of protest activity and other related pro-life activity outside abortion clinics following concerns about the actions of some campaigners. The Home Secretary is clear that any action taken as a result of this review should be based on clear evidence. I am therefore writing to request your input into the review.

The first stage of the review is focused on drawing together evidence of what is happening nationally in order to understand the scale and nature of the protest activity and any associated action, legal or otherwise. As well as seeking your input, we are gathering evidence from healthcare providers; police forces; local authorities; representative groups of the clients of healthcare clinics and also of employees; and those engaging in protests and demonstrations.

The review is also considering international comparisons and, in response to calls for their introduction in the UK, gathering information on the justification, use and effectiveness of buffer zones in countries such as Australia, Canada, the USA and France.

Please note this review is not considering the question of abortion or any aspects of the Abortion Act 1967.

An online questionnaire has been developed which sets out a range of questions that apply to a wide range of interested parties. A link to the questionnaire is included below. Please respond to all questions which you deem applicable to you or your organisation. There is no obligation or requirement to answer all or indeed any questions.

https://www.homeofficesurveys.homeoffice.gov.uk/s/8KA5N/  .

We would appreciate if you could complete the questionnaire by Monday 19th February 2018. If you have further, additional, information that you would like to provide or have any other comments regarding this review, please send them to ACPReview@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

Please note that information provided in response to this review, including personal information, may be published or disclosed in accordance with the access to information regimes (these are primarily the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004).

If you want the information that you provide to be treated as confidential, please be aware that, under the FOIA, there is a statutory Code of Practice with which public authorities must comply and which deals, amongst other things, with obligations of confidence. In view of this it would be helpful if you could explain to us why you regard the information you have provided as confidential. If we receive a request for disclosure of the information we will take full account of your explanation, but we cannot give an assurance that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances. An automatic confidentiality disclaimer generated by your IT system will not, of itself, be regarded as binding on the Home Office.

The Home Office will process your personal data in accordance with the DPA and in the majority of circumstances this will mean that your personal data will not be disclosed to third parties.

Once the evidence is gathered, we will present the review findings to the Home Secretary before consideration is given to any further action the Government should take.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your time and effort in taking part in this review.

Yours sincerely

Sarah Gawley

Head of Police Powers Unit

Directorate for Policing and the Fire Service

Email: ACPReview@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

ARHP-BSACP Webinar: Telemedicine Abortions in Ireland/Northern Ireland, 18 January 2018


Women from Ireland/Northern Ireland Seeking Telemedicine Abortions from Women on Web

with James Trussell, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Princeton University

Thursday, 18 January 2018 at 1:30 PM EST/6:30 PM GMT

This joint webinar (details below) with the British Society of Abortion Care Providers (BSACP) and Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) is the second of a new series of members-only educational opportunities. We will offer several of these webinars each year at no cost to BSACP/ARHP members.

[NB. As the BSACP website/membership facilities are currently undergoing a major upgrade, later this month BSACP will contact current members individually about membership renewal arrangements for 2018; in the interim you are permitted to register for this webinar as a BSACP member.]

Click on the link in the webinar outline below to register for this webinar. Alternatively you can use this link: http://conta.cc/2FoT2hT

Attendance requires membership with either ARHP or BSACP

use links above to join or renew your membership

Join the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) and the British Society of Abortion Care Providers (BSACP) for the second of four webinars on issues facing abortion care providers in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Dr Trussell will discuss characteristics and experiences of women in Ireland/Northern Ireland who self-source medication abortion via telemedicine, and compare the effectiveness and safety of telemedicine abortion versus clinical settings. Register today!

Webinar Objectives:

  1. Identify characteristics of women in Ireland/Northern Ireland who seek to self-source medication abortion via telemedicine
  2. Describe the experiences of those women who self-source medication abortion via telemedicine
  3. Compare the effectiveness of medical abortions in at-home via telemedicine versus clinic settings
  4. Discuss the safety of at-home medical abortion via online telemedicine

Accreditation Information

ARHP’s educational activities are designed with the entire health care team in mind, including certified nurse-midwives, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physician assistants, physicians, registered nurses, and other health care professionals. Participants may choose to receive the type of credits that meet their professional and/or certification needs.

ARHP is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. PAs, CNMs, and other disciplines also may use CME credits.

ARHP is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number 16643, to provide nursing continuing education credits.

ARHP is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education for select programs.


Janie Foote

BSACP Administrator

Tel:  +44 (0)1243 538106

E-mail:  admin@bsacp.org.uk

Website:  www.bsacp.org.uk


Jessica A. Monmaney, MPH

Education Program Manager

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP)




Oireachtas Committee Recommends Abortion Decriminalisation and Free Access up to 12 Weeks with Overwhelming Support for Free Contraception

14 December 2017

An article in The Times newspaper today illustrates two pieces of compelling oral evidence presented to the Oireachtas Committee that were heavily influential in this decision: Abigail Aiken’s data on the number of women known to be buying abortion pills online, and Patricia Lohr’s evidence on flaws in UK legislation. Both of these issues are just as relevant and harmful to women in mainland UK, and this recommendation for Eire further emphasises the totally unacceptable position for the women of Northern Ireland. Furthermore, the reduction in access to contraception, which will especially hit the highly effective long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods, further increases the risk of unwanted pregnancy. [Sexual health services on the brink, BMJ 2017; 359; doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5395]

The British Society of Abortion Care Providers (BSACP) notes the groundswell of public and professional opinion, and fully supports legal and regulatory changes that increase access to evidence-based abortion care in both Eire and across the entire United Kingdom.


Kate Guthrie/Joanne Fletcher (BSACP Co-Chairs)

BSACP/ARHP Joint Webinar on Simultaneous EMA: 14 December 2017

Outcomes with Simultaneous Administration of Mifepristone and Misoprostol for Early Medical Abortion

with Patricia Lohr, MD MPH, BPAS Medical Director and BSACP Treasurer

Thursday 14 December 2017 at 6:30 PM GMT / 1:30 PM EST

This joint webinar with the British Society of Abortion Care Providers (BSACP) and Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) is the first of a new series of members-only educational opportunities. We will provide several of these webinars throughout the year at no cost to BSACP/ARHP members, so although this inaugural webinar is open to non-members, we encourage you to join BSACP or renew your membership for 2018 to participate in future activities.

[NB. BSACP will shortly be contacting current members individually about membership renewal arrangements for 2018.]

In this webinar, Dr Patricia Lohr, Medical Director of British Pregnancy Advisory Service, will discuss reduced-interval medical abortion regimens including outcomes from a large cohort study comparing simultaneous dosing with a 24–48 hour interval. As legislative restrictions continue to affect the provision of medically-induced abortion, reduced interval regimens offer an opportunity to protect patients’ access to care but at the expense of greater effectiveness.

By the end of this activity, participants will be able to:
1. Identify the primary impact of legislative restrictions on medical abortion care
2. Explain the rationale for reduced interval medical abortion regimens
3. Describe the effectiveness and acceptability of reduced-interval medical abortion regimens
4. Compare outcomes using simultaneous administration of mifepristone and misoprostol to those using a regimen with a 24- to 48-hour interval between medications.

Register NOW by clicking: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5452575305632583171

We hope you will consider joining us for this FREE webinar and future ARHP/BSACP activities.

Kate Guthrie/Joanne Fletcher  (BSACP Co-Chairs)

Health Canada Further Increases Access to Early Medical Abortion

8 November 2017

Abortion was decriminalised in Canada. Health professional scope of practice regulation is now in the jurisdiction of the respective health professional regulatory colleges. In Ontario, nurse practitioners can prescribe and dispense mifepristone if they have undertaken the prescribed training programme. Health Canada has now removed all restrictions on distribution, prescription and dispensing of mifepristone in Canada, giving it federal regulations similar to other prescription drugs. This means women can collect both mifepristone and misoprostol from the pharmacy and take both at home, unsupervised.

More information is available at this Health Canada link: http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2017/65030a-eng.php

Kate Guthrie (BSACP Co-Chair)

Joint RSM/BSACP Conference on ‘Excellence in Abortion Care’ at the Royal Society of Medicine, London, UK on 11 October 2017

On Wednesday 11 October 2017, I attended the joint conference organised by the British Society of Abortion Care Providers (BSACP) and the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) with the theme ‘Excellence in Abortion Care’. I was particularly excited to attend, as I am currently the President of the Society of Medical Students for Choice in QUB, as well as a volunteer with Alliance for Choice, an activist group based in Belfast, and I have a keen interest in abortion care and women’s health.

The day was packed with informative sessions, split into six main sessions: Update on Abortion Statistics; Clinical Update in Abortion Care; Using Telemedicine to Increase Access and Satisfaction of Abortion Care; Inspection and Regulation; Access and Management of Abortion After the First Trimester; and Nurses and Midwives in Abortion Care. With such a varied and mixed day, I believe that the conference was accessible and interesting for people involved in many different areas of abortion care.

The abortion statistics session contained many interesting points about the implications of Northern Irish and Irish pregnant women and people travelling to Britain for abortion access. The point was made that the numbers of women and people travelling from Northern Ireland and Ireland to undergo abortions in Britain are always underestimates, on account of stigma and fear leading to people not providing accurate addresses and postcodes.

The session around clinical updates in abortion care was very interesting with regard to the woman-centred aspects of abortion care, and demonstrated how the patient experience is useful in improving clinical practice. This session focused on early medical abortion (EMA) and pain management during manual vacuum aspiration. I found the EMA session particularly informative about the benefits versus the negatives of EMA in terms of patient satisfaction and reducing the stress of unexpected pregnancies and the risks of EMA, including missed ectopic pregnancies.

Telemedicine is an area of medicine that is often underutilised; however, it has an important role to play in abortion provision, facilitating the care of patients living in remote areas or those who cannot attend clinics for a variety of reasons. It was stressed in this session how important the decriminalization of abortion care is in facilitating the provision of better access to abortion services to those patients who cannot access care within a clinic or hospital setting. This is an example of the Inverse Care Law being seen in action, namely those who are most in need of care being unable to access it, including those in controlling relationships or those with childcare or work responsibilities that they cannot abandon in order to attend a clinic or hospital for a day. Despite the National Health Service (NHS) being set up to reduce health inequalities, travelling for abortion care can result in many inequalities for those who are unable to travel for the reasons given above. This is also important to remember in respect of pregnant women and people in Northern Ireland and Ireland – free abortion services and funding in Britain is not a long-term solution for many women, and abortion services must be accessible within local care facilities or even at home. Unfortunately, however, legislation often stands in the way of providing high-quality, patient-centred care.

This focus on legislation continued into the afternoon, with the session on Nurses and Midwives in Abortion Care commenting on the limits of the 1967 Abortion Act, which we are celebrating 50 years of in Britain. This Act, which was extremely welcome in 1967, as women were dying or left with lifelong disabilities after unsafe and illegal abortions, is out of date for 2017. With developments such as ‘Women on Web’ and ‘Women on Waves’, that provide abortion pills to people who cannot access healthcare facilities, access to abortion can be as close as a mouse-click away. Similarly, legal limitations on who can provide abortions restricts abortion care provision to doctors and excludes nurses and midwives, despite them being highly trained members of the healthcare team, when their involvement in abortion care provision might sometimes be preferable in terms of resource allocation.

The day ended with a documentary film showcase led by Dr Jayne Kavanagh, a clinical teaching fellow at University College London. This film was incredibly powerful and emotional, and featured interviews with doctors who worked both before and after the 1967 Abortion Act; activists and politicians who were instrumental in bringing about changes in abortion legislation; and, of course, women who accessed abortion services before the Act was introduced. I personally found the film particularly moving because this year not only represents 50 years since the 1967 Abortion Act was introduced in Britain, but also because it represents 50 years of denial of abortion care to pregnant women and people in Northern Ireland.

However, to end on an optimistic note, I do believe that continuing activism and advocacy from leading healthcare organisations, including the British Medical Association, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Midwives and, of course, the BSACP, are helping to bring about a change of opinion and ensuring access to essential abortion care services to all pregnant women and people, regardless of their address or postcode. Similarly, the hard work and success of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service’s #WeTrustWomen campaign and Alliance for Choice’s #TrustWomen campaign are bringing abortion to the forefront for politicians to discuss, and are raising public awareness about this important healthcare and human rights issue.

Jill McManus, Third-year Medical Student, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland; jmcmanus27@qub.ac.uk

Note on the Author

Jill McManus is president of the QUB chapter of Medical Students for Choice, and is an activist with Alliance for Choice, a pro-choice activist and advocacy group based in Northern Ireland. She also has a blog, where she writes about current events and information on abortion.

Scotland is the First UK Country to Allow Women to Take Abortion Pills at Home

26 October 2017

Professor Alan Templeton announced from the podium at the wonderful The Abortion Act 1967 Conference held at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) earlier this week that women in Scotland will soon be able to take the misoprostol component of early medical abortion at home. The date has yet to be announced but the decision has been made. We can but hope that this woman-centred, safe and compassionate change is also sanctioned in England and Wales. One would think it difficult to argue otherwise.

Link to BuzzFeed article: https://www.buzzfeed.com/laurasilver/scotland-first-uk-country-to-allow-women-abortion-pill-home?utm_term=.epnRNxpk8

BuzzFeed App available at: https://bzfd.it/bfmobileapps

Kate Guthrie  (BSACP Co-Chair)

NICE Termination of Pregnancy Guideline – Call for Committee Members

NICE is seeking additional committee members for its Termination of Pregnancy Guideline – see request below. Please feel free to forward this request to relevant colleagues. Applicants should contact Eleanor Howat directly for an application form as this is no longer available on the web.

BSACP Administrator


Dear Colleague

I am writing to invite you and your network of contacts to consider applying for the role of committee member for the NICE guideline committee on Termination of pregnancy. Please submit your application by 10am Monday 16th October 2017. A copy of the application form and supporting documents should be requested from Eleanor Howat at ehowat@rcog.org.uk.

Committee role

We are looking for committee members as follows

1 x psychologist or counsellor with experience in termination of pregnancy services

1 x anaesthetist/sedation provider

Details on the guideline can be found on the NICE web site using the link below:


 How to apply for professional roles

Please send a short CV and cover letter before the deadline of 10am Monday 16th October to NGAapplications@rcog.org.uk for my attention.  The following documents should be included:

  1. A cover letter, explaining how you meet the criteria in the person specification and your motivation for applying for the post
  2. A short CV
  3. Applicant information form – with details of 2 referees
  4. Declaration of interests form
  5. Equality monitoring form

Please request a copy of the application form and supporting documents from Eleanor Howat  at ehowat@rcog.org.uk.

Spread the word

Please encourage your network of contacts to apply to be part of this committee.

Thank you for your help in finding committee members for this NICE guideline.

Eleanor Howat (Project Manager)

National Guideline Alliance (NGA)

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

T: +020 7772 6452

E: ehowat@rcog.org.uk

W: www.rcog.org.uk

[NB. The deadline for submission of applications has now passed.]

13th FIAPAC Conference, September 2018

13th FIAPAC Conference on ‘Liberating Women – Removing Barriers and Increasing Access to Abortion Care’, Nantes, France, 14–15 September 2018

A little more than 40 years after the adoption of the Veil law, the care provision of abortion and contraception is being continually modified by input from new organisations, as well as the evolution of techniques and thoughts. This topic will be re-explored and discussed at this FIAPAC conference, which is supported by the National Association of Abortion and Contraception Centers ANCIC, and the National College of Gynecologists and Obstetrics (CNOGF) and the Réseau Sécurité Naissance.