OFN Friday Digest
The OFN brings you a roundup of the week’s news relevant to Older Women.

Abortion Should Not Be A Crime! Join the Protest Calling for a Change in the Law

On Saturday, 17th June, join BPAS, the Women’s Equality Party, and the Fawcett Society to demand legal reform to the abortion law in Great Britain.

This week, a woman in England was sentenced to 28 months in prison after using abortion pills to end her own pregnancy.

This mother-of-three was prosecuted under a law passed in 1861 which states that any woman in Great Britain who attempts to end her own pregnancy outside a set of strict criteria can face up to life imprisonment. This is the harshest penalty in the world.

The number of women facing criminal investigation under Great Britain’s cruel and outdated abortion law is increasing.

  • Last year, a young mother, who used abortion medication in a failed attempt to end her own pregnancy, was dragged before the courts after her own medical team reported her to the police.  
  • A 15-year-old girl was accused of an illegal abortion after suffering a stillbirth. The police seized her laptop and phone during her GCSEs, and she was driven to self-harm. 

Unless the law is reformed, more women and girls will face the trauma of lengthy police investigations and even the threat of prison.

It is time to act now.

We will meet at 1 pm at The Royal Courts of Justice, and march approximately 1.2 miles to Westminster for a rally which will finish approx 4 pm.

More information can be found here.

The OFN has signed an international letter in support of Reem Asalem the UN Special Rapporteur on VAWG Deliver her Mandate who is facing attacks in her role at the UN.

“We are grateful to Ms Alsalem for fulfilling her mandate and adopting a comprehensive and universal approach to the elimination of violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences, including causes of violence against women relating to the civil, cultural, economic, political and social spheres.

However, even though the Special Rapporteur is doing exactly what is within her mandate, she has been attacked, intimidated and even threatened to be dismissed because she has been vocal about the impact of laws allowing self-declaration of legal sex on women and girls’ safety, dignity and rights. Ms Alsalem has called for protecting and safeguarding women’s fundamental rights not to be discriminated on the basis of sex, and for respecting positive measures obligations such as single-sex spaces and services, including women’s shelters, support groups and services for women and girls victims of violence, as well as women’s safety and dignity in prisons and health care facilities.

We are currently witnessing violent rhetoric and active denigration towards feminists concerned with the impact of self-declaration of legal sex, or, the erosion of sex and associated with it protections and state obligations, through its conflation with gender and gender identity, as well as the widespread de-platforming of female scholars, journalists, and public figures who aim to broaden debates around gender identity to include considerations for women and girls as a group with a common characteristic of female sex…”

We will link to the open letter as soon as it is published.

NHS proposes to put the feelings of trans staff above the rights of female patients. 

A patient may be guilty of discrimination if they refuse to be treated by a transgender doctor, according to guidance.

The 97-page guidance, produced by NHS Confederation, a membership organisation for NHS bodies, says that patients have “no right” to be told if their doctor is trans or non-binary.

Read more.



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