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Hull MP publishes Bill to modernise Abortion Law

Diana Johnson MP was joined by supporters of decriminalising abortion in the UK at a Parliamentary event ahead of the publication of her Private Members’ Bill to modernise abortion laws. 
 
This included Lord David Steel who piloted the 1967 Abortion Act through Parliament.
 
Meanwhile, more than 60 high profile women from across the UK and Ireland - including Kate Beckinsale, Claire Foy, Jodie Whittaker, Vanessa Redgrave, Meera Syal and Amnesty Ambassador Olivia Colman - have joined Amnesty International’s call on Theresa May to decriminalise abortion.
 
They all signed a letter asking Prime Minister to give time for the Bill in parliament, adding that women will be waiting with “anxiety and fear as their reproductive rights are debated”. 
  
The celebrities write that “we’re counting on you and your government to stand with women and decriminalise abortion. Give us choice and control over our own bodies. Show women from Northern Ireland that you won’t stand for them being governed by one of the harshest and cruellest abortion laws in the world. 
 
Show us that you value and champion the rights of all women, no matter which part of the UK they’re from".
 
The stars – who also include Vanessa Redgrave, Emma Thompson, Claudia Winkleman, Sharon Horgan, Gemma Arterton, Tracey Emin, Zoë Wanamaker, Aisling Bea, Noma Dumezweni, Gemma Chan, and Amnesty Ambassadors Juliet Stevenson, Deborah Frances-White and Sita Brahmachari – ask Theresa May to “do the right thing” and “champion reproductive freedom, women’s rights and healthcare”.
 
They join almost 50,000 others who have signed the petition calling for the decriminalisation of abortion. 
 
Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International UK’s Northern Ireland Campaign Manager, said: “Across the UK, women are asking Theresa May a simple question: to stand with them in their fight for reproductive freedom.
 
“Women in Northern Ireland are being failed by a lack of Government action; forced to live with the cruel reality of Northern Ireland’s strict near total abortion ban every day. 
 
“The UK Government must give time for the Bill to go through Parliament so that MPs have the opportunity to stop the criminalisation of healthcare services and support the rights of women – including those in Northern Ireland. 
 
“Women across the UK, particularly in Northern Ireland where prosecutions are a reality, are counting on the Government to act.”
 
Diana Johnson MP, who has brought forward the decriminalisation Bill, said: “The situation in Northern Ireland is grave and urgent. My decriminalisation Bill has support from almost every UK political party and will be in Parliament on Friday. The Government must give it the time it needs to progress. Women need this change. Abortion is a healthcare and human rights issue. It’s time it was treated as such.”
 
Nicky Morgan MP, a co-sponsor of the Bill, said: “There are many desperate women and families who need help now and shouldn’t be asked to wait for political situations such as Brexit to be resolved.”
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