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Choice-Fest: Abortion Rights' 18th Birthday Series

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An exciting series of panel events about abortion and reproductive rights to celebrate our 18th anniversary.

About this event

This year, Abortion Rights turns 18! That's right, it's been 18 wonderful years of campaigning and fighting the good fight. And we're just getting started! To celebrate this milestone, we're organising a series of panel discussions that'll take us through the history of abortion, via Britney Spears, and through an examination of cultural stigma, to meet some incredible trailblazers with a lot to say. Join us every Tuesday in September!

THE PANELS

ABORTION STORIES FROM DECOLONISING CONTRACEPTION – Tuesday September 7 - 7pm

People of African, Caribbean and Asian descent in the England and Wales have abortions. In 2020 209,917 abortion procedures occurred in England and Wales. One in five people who had an abortion were non-white residents of England and Wales - 14,694 (7%) Black, 18,892 (9%) Asian and 8,396 (4%) were [of] Mixed [descent].

But are the abortion experiences of people of African, Caribbean, and Asian descent shared in public forums or in whispers? At Decolonising Contraception, we reached out to people of African, Caribbean and Asian descent to collect their abortion stories. To challenge the general stigma about abortion, we asked our participants to talk about their experiences of choice, accessibility, and safety in procuring their abortions. And to further challenge the specific stigma about abortion for people of African, Caribbean and Asian descent, we asked participants to talk about how culture, religion and social pressures impacted them in their decision-making process. The data collection for this project was funded by My Body My Life through The Open University. ‘My Body My Life’ is a public engagement project that shares stories of abortion from people across the UK.

SPEAKERS: Edem Barbara Ntumy from Decolonise Contraception & researcher Manna Mostaghim.

ABORTION REBELS – Tuesday September 14 - 7pm

The fight for abortion rights is a long and difficult one, with setbacks to counter every victory. Even for those of us who live in countries with access to legal abortion, our rights were hard won by those who came before us – and even for us, nothing is guaranteed. As we’ve seen in the US and Poland over the last couple of years, it only takes one right wing government to undo decades of progress. But those of us involved in this struggle will also tell you the work is meaningful, important, and rewarding – not least because of the incredible people we meet along the way. Behind the scenes everywhere you go are unsung heroes working hard, moving mountains to smash stigma, break barriers, and ensure that even in those places with the worst abortion laws, people still have a choice. In this panel, we meet some astounding women, to whose dedication and work we owe so much.

SPEAKERS: Abortion Rights Chair Kerry Abel, Dr Rebecca Gomperts from Women on Web, Anne Rossiter from IWASG & Speaking of IMELDA, Renee Bracey Sherman from We Testify, Mara Clarke from Abortion Support Network & Viva Ruiz from Thank God For Abortion.

#FREE BRITNEY! – Tuesday September 21 – 7pm

Britney Spears has lost her reproductive freedom. Disturbingly, her case is not unique. Women and marginalised communities have long faced state-section sterilisation, forced abortion, and other reproductive coercions – so why did it take the plight of the most famous pop-star on earth to let get our attention? The rally cry Free Britney must come with calls for true reproductive justice for everybody. That means the ability for every person — regardless of age, race, immigration status, and gender identity — to determine their own reproductive destiny and work to dismantle all oppressive systems. Join our panel as we unpack how Britney’s controversial conservatorship relates to our reproductive rights.

SPEAKERS: Nandini Archer from Open Democracy, disability campaigner Anne Kane, Dr Lara Dimitrijevic from Women's Rights Foundation Malta & Katriana Ciccotto from The Naked Grapefruit.

HISTORY OF ABORTION - Tuesday September 28 – 7pm

The practice of abortion dates back to ancient times -- with the first recorded evidence found in the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus in 1550 BC. Since then, various methods have been used to terminate pregnancies, and abortion laws and their enforcement have changed through the ages. Join us on a whistle-stop tour of the history of abortion as we look at an ever changing landscape of morals and politics.

SPEAKERS: Academics Dr Erin Maglaque & Dr Sally Sheldon & writer and Abortion Rights EC Member Judith Orr.

THE TICKETS

By purchasing a ticket, you not only get to enjoy a wide variety of panels crammed with reproductive rights experts, but you are also supporting Abortion Rights' work. At Abortion Rights we believe the key to fighting effective battles will be creating opportunities for the pro-choice majority to be heard. We're up to the task, but we need you with us as we face a powerful and well-funded opposition who have proven they will do almost anything to restrict our reproductive freedom. Be a part of the change!

Abortion Rights Members: Combo ticket, all session for £5

Non-members: Sessions are £6 each, or you can purchase a combo ticket & enjoy all four symposiums for the bargain price of £20.

Membership and combo deal: £30 you give membership to AR for a year plus access to all 4 sessions!

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Organiser Abortion Rights

Organiser of Choice-Fest: Abortion Rights' 18th Birthday Series

Abortion Rights is the national pro-choice campaign. We are campaigning to defend and extend women's rights and access to safe, legal abortion. We oppose any attack on the 1967 Abortion Act including any attempt to lower the abortion time limit. 

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