Monday 23 January 2012

January Sales at EFC


Resources to help your work
EFC has just produced some factsheets to promote better understanding of female fertility. Written and illustrated by the brilliant Bish Training the leaflets help to untangle complicated information about when a woman is and isn’t fertile, emphasising the need to use contraception every time you have sex. 50 for £15 inc p+p, email laura(at) to place an order.

*Special  New Year Offer*
The whole EFC kit and caboodle.  One of everything from our resource collection listed below for just £50.00 inc p+p 
All of these are also available individually (at list price) 
1.    Unexpecting DVD for group work: exploring two young women’s experiences of making a decision about unplanned pregnancy £17
2.       Resource for teaching about pregnancy decision-making and abortion in SRE, RE, General Studies. Abortion: Decisions and Dilemmas £20
3.       Abortion education toolkit: to support your group work £4.50
4.       Supporting pregnancy decision-making toolkit: to support your one to one work £4.50
5.       Pregnant: What Now decision-making workbook: to support your one to one work £5 (min order x2)
6.       Religion Factsheet 10 for £6.00
7.       FAQs: young people’s questions about abortion answered 10 for £6.00
8.       Abortion fact postcards 50 for £7.50 
9.       All *new* Fertility leaflet 50 for £15
*Book Now for 10% reduction *
Training for professionals in your area – Abortion: Decisions and Dilemmas 
‘Fantastic delivery. Unbiased approach.  Great resources, employed techniques for effective teaching.’ EFC training participant
10% saving for bookings made before February 3rd 2012
email laura(at)

Advertising abortion services on T.V

The Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) has announced a change in its regulations which would allow any organisation providing ‘post conception advice services’ to advertise in the broadcast media.

This changes everything...or does it?

Some anti-abortion organisations and anti-abortion MPs have expressed dismay that this ruling will lead to our airwaves being awash with advertising for abortion services, thereby ‘de-sensitising’ the public to how serious abortion is. In reality it is unlikely to lead to much new advertising. Those providing abortions in the not-for-profit sector like the big two, bpas and Marie Stopes, were already allowed to advertise and have only done so once between them (Marie Stopes in 2010). The private sector only provides 4% of abortions in England and Wales and though private clinics are now allowed to advertise are unlikely to do so as the cost would probably be prohibitive. So, it is unlikely we will see any significant increase in broadcast advertising of abortion services as a result of these changes.

The other important aspect of the new regulations is that they require those offering post conception services to be transparent about whether they refer women for abortion. The BCAP has said that this decision was made on public health grounds. This is because of a concern that a woman seeking abortion could be delayed if she chose to go to an independent pregnancy counselling service, not realising that they would not or could not refer her directly into an abortion service if this is what she chose. This change in regulation is welcomed by all those who – like EFC – are concerned that some women may be unnecessarily delayed from accessing abortion by making and waiting for an appointment with a service that might slow down the process -  either deliberately or through simple logistics. Some people have objected to this transparency requirement on the grounds that while pregnancy advice organisations have to be honest about not referring for abortion, organisations like MSI and bpas do not have to disclose that they are abortion providers when offering post conception advice services. In reality it would be impossible to visit the bpas and MSI websites without realising that they provide abortions....If anything, the normal criticism of bpas and MSI from anti-choice campaigners like Nadine Dorries, is that they are constantly promoting their abortion services.

So, what will this part of the regulations change? Some independent (or ‘crisis’) pregnancy counselling centres are currently vague about what they offer. Some try to give the impression that they will support women to access abortion, although in fact they don’t. In July last year EFC published a report based on mystery shopping crisis pregnancy centres. We found that while some did explain clearly how to access an abortion to a client who had chosen to have one, others could not or would not provide any practical information to mystery shoppers. We think it is vital that any woman seeking support with pregnancy decision-making should also be given support to access abortion as quickly as possible if that is what she chooses. If this regulation helps women to identify the most suitable place to go to get the service they need and prevents women experiencing unnecessary delays in accessing abortion, then it will have made a positive difference.

Wednesday 11 January 2012

EFC merges with Brook

If you receive our newsletter you’ll know by now that Education For Choice has merged with Brook. The two organisations have always been closely aligned in outlook and we’re really excited about turning a long-standing professional friendship into a vibrant partnership.

EFC’s specialist knowledge of issues relating to abortion and young people will complement Brook’s much wider sexual health remit. EFC will become a project within Brook, and will continue to deliver education, training and advocacy work around young people, pregnancy decision-making and abortion. 

We are extremely excited at the opportunities working in this way will provide us together to reach more young people with high quality information, education and support on pregnancy decision-making and abortion. All young people have the right to receive accurate, evidence-based information about pregnancy options; and the impartial support to make informed decisions about pregnancy.  By coming together we will continue to ensure that entitlement is met.

You can still follow EFC on Twitter,  like us on Facebook and visit our Blog and Website.

Check out Brook’s website for more details of their work including the Sex Positive campaign.

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Myth-Busting Monday - Same - Sex Marriage Leads to Abortions

The anti-abortion organisation SPUC has launched a campaign against the legal recognition of same-sex unions. This document comes as no surprise as we know that SPUC Director John Smeaton has written a number of blogs attacking same-sex unions, and calling homosexuality ‘disordered’. However, we are baffled by the argument that  ‘allowing same sex marriage would damage society and would put the unborn child at a far higher risk of being aborted’.

SPUC’s position paper on same-sex marriage links to Government abortion statistics to back up its claim that ‘unborn children are much safer within marriage than outside marriage'. Abortion Statistics for England and Wales do show that overall, the majority of abortions are requested by unmarried women. But the partial use of these figures to argue that traditional, heterosexual marriage ‘protects children born and unborn’ is disingenuous. A closer look at the abortion statistics shows that age is the most significant factor. Only 1% of women under 20 having abortions are married. This is unsurprising considering the average age of marriage for women in the UK is 28. It should not lead us to the conclusion that being married in and of itself stops women requesting abortion. By the time they are 35 or over, married women make up a significantly larger proportion (40%) of women requesting abortion. The overall figures for the proportion of abortions carried out for married women are strongly skewed by the fact that  70% of abortions are provided for women under 30 many of whom aren’t married (yet).

Apart from age, there may be lots of reasons why women who are married may be under-represented in abortion statistics none of which points to a magical protective effect of marriage. What is certain is that nothing in the statistics demonstrates that allowing gay couples to marry will result in more abortions. The leap from ‘most women who have abortions are unmarried’ to ‘same-sex marriage causes abortion’ is bizarre. The attempt to dress up good old fashioned homophobia as social science is worse.

This blog from the brilliant Abortion Gang reminds us why the LGBT and pro-choice movements need to work together for reproductive justice. We have blogged before about our concern that organisations with a homophobic agenda are welcomed into our schools to talk to our children about abortion.We only have to look to the current situation in the States to see that if there is a connection between same sex marriage and abortion it is this: all too often those wishing to restrict women’s right to access safe, legal abortion are the very same people who are attempting to restrict the choices we make about who we can love and live with; how we define, create and care for our families; the way we live – in fact who we are.