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Scottish Government

Recently representatives of Abortion Rights Scotland, Engender, the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), and a number of other organisations met with the Scottish Government Minister for Public Health and Women’s, Jenni Minto. This was to discuss taking forward the Scottish Government’s commitment‘ to undertake a review of the law on abortion to ensure that it is first and foremost a healthcare matter.

The Scotland Act 2016 devolved responsibility for abortion law to the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Parliament already had full responsibility for delivery of abortion care services, which have remained within the remit of NHS Scotland, framed by the 1967 Abortion Act. But this Act is badly outdated and the movement to decriminalise abortion, and create a regulatory framework fit for the 21st century, is gaining pace. With a different legal system to England and Wales there will be differences in how this looks in Scotland - for example the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 does not apply in Scotland. Scottish Government have committed to bring forward proposals by 2026.

Scottish Government officials have begun scoping the terms of the review, looking at international examples, and considering legal, healthcare, and policy input to that review. The discussion with practitioners, women’s organisations, and campaigners was constructive, and will continue as the review in Scotland gets underway.

Engender update


For more information on the October meeting with the Minister for Public Health, and ongoing work we are doing together on decriminalisation - see Engender report

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