Time to Defend Abortion Rights?

The Brighton and Hove branches of the Socialist Party is inviting the public to a discussion under the title of “Time to Defend Abortion Rights?” – Wednesday 29th February, 7.30pm at Phoenix Community Centre, BN2 9ND Brighton.

“The 1967 Abortion Act legalised abortion in Britain and went a long way in freeing working class women from dangerous and often deadly ‘backstreet’ abortion techniques – but not in Northern Ireland where the act has never been implemented. The 1967 Act, combined with other advances such as the introduction of the contraceptive pill, was a huge step forward for women, giving them some control over their own fertility for the first time. Unfortunately, just like all other victories won under capitalism, we have to fight to maintain them. Recently there has been a rise in victim-blaming, sparking the Slutwalk protests.

A successful campaign led by Brighton Socialist Party member Beth Granter, defeated Nadine Dorries’ Private Members Bill calling for abstinence only sex education to be taught to girls from the age of thirteen. Constant threats are made to abortion rights, with demands for councilling by pro-life groups to precede any abortion. These attacks are taking place against a backdrop of job losses and public sector cuts, which affect all working-class and poor people, but impact on women’s lives especially hard. In this discussion we will be looking at the history of abortion and women’s control over reproduction, the political and moral issues often raised and how effective campaigns can be waged to defend and extend existing rights. Initial reading: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/12360 and http://www.socialismtoday.org/152/women.html

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