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UK Doctors Call For Free British Abortions For American Women

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UK Doctors Call For Free British Abortions For American Women

Doctors in the UK are calling for abortions to be made free in Britain for American women, who no longer have access to them in the States.

The call from the British Medical Association (BMA) comes following the US supreme court's overturning of the 50-year-old Roe Vs Wade ruling, which will rescind a person's legal right to have an abortion, allowing individual states to outlaw the procedure.

While abortion services are free to UK residents on the NHS, foreign patients in the UK must pay for abortions, but now that the BMA's new motion has passed, this could change soon.

Protests have broken out across the US following the supreme court ruling. Credit: Unsplash
Protests have broken out across the US following the supreme court ruling. Credit: Unsplash
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Each year, 80,000 women receive abortions from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service. 4,000 of those women are foreign patients.

The motion to make abortions free to foreign patients was first proposed on Wednesday, 29 June, by medical student Marina Politis, who described the US supreme court's decision as 'a death sentence'.

She went on to argue: "In other, less risky pregnancies, this decision still removes an essential right of the individual to choose what happens to their own body.

“In the context of a hostile environment, we have seen increased migrant charging. We also need to provide safe abortion care to all nationals seeking this in the UK, without subjecting them to overseas patient upfront tariffs – and this must be regardless of borders going far beyond the US."

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Over the weekend, the US supreme court overturned the 50 year old ruling. Credit: Alamy
Over the weekend, the US supreme court overturned the 50 year old ruling. Credit: Alamy

After 57% of doctors voted in favour of the motion to offer free abortions to all foreign patients, the BMA agreed to lobby the UK government on the issue and call on them to 'strengthen [their] own abortion provision'.

Members of the BMA have also agreed to openly condemn the US supreme court ruling and support stateside doctors who had provided abortions.

Speaking on behalf of the American Medical Association (AMA), Vice Speaker Lisa Egbert, MD stated: "The AMA is thankful to the British Association for adding your voice recognising access to essential medical care as a fundamental human right."

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The supreme court's overturning of Roe Vs Wade has sparked widespread condemnation worldwide, with large protests already spreading across the US.

According to Planned Parenthood, abortion access is expected to be reduced for around 36 million women of reproductive age across the US.

The BMA is now set to lobby the UK government for free abortion services for foreign patients. Credit: Alamy
The BMA is now set to lobby the UK government for free abortion services for foreign patients. Credit: Alamy

Since the controversial ruling, 26 individual states are already considering outlawing abortion, while thirteen have moved to pass 'trigger laws' that automatically outlaw abortion, with more states expected to enforce new legal restrictions in the near future.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Pexels

Topics: News, Health

Ali Condon
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