Bpas launches abortion rights move

Britain's biggest abortion provider has launched a campaign supporting women's right to choose after senior Government ministers waded into the debate about time limits for termination.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) said politicians should understand that women are best placed to decide whether to continue with a pregnancy.

The charity said it was launching the No More Names campaign following "recent comments by ministers" and a series of protests outside abortion clinics.

Jeremy Hunt said the legal time limit on abortion should be halved to 12 weeks. The Health Secretary said he believed there is a moral case for cutting the current time limit of 24 weeks.

Earlier this month, Minister for Women and Equalities Maria Miller said she stands by her decision to vote in 2008 for a 20-week limit. Home Secretary Theresa May also waded into the argument saying she believed the time limit should decrease.

Bpas said stigma still surrounds abortion - despite the fact that one in three women will have one in their lives. The charity said it wants to emphasise that the majority of people will know a woman who has faced an unwanted pregnancy.

The new campaign, which will be featured on billboards around the country, features a picture of three women and the words: "What do you call a woman who has had an abortion? Mother. Daughter. Sister. Friend."

Ann Furedi, Bpas chief executive, said: "Unwanted pregnancy affects women of all ages, in all sorts of circumstances.

"There are many reasons why a woman may find herself with an unintended pregnancy, from contraceptive failure to misconceptions about her own fertility, and many sad cases where a much wanted pregnancy can no longer be carried to term.

"Women need to be able to make these decisions without banners being waved in their faces, or being made to feel that they are thoughtless, immoral or selfish. Politicians should understand that women themselves are the ones who are best placed to make the choice that is right for them and their families. Mothers, daughters, sisters and friends - the women in all our lives deserve nothing less."