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2.2 Abortion post Roe v Wade: How safe are UK reproductive rights? - with Renee Bracey Sherman

Across the pond, the United States Supreme Court made the decision to overturn Roe v Wade, meaning 33 million women in America were stripped of the right to an abortion. Many US states have already introduced new restrictions on abortion. Women and people who need abortions are having to travel further, often across state borders, and pay more. As expected, this ban will affect the most marginalised: poor women, queer people, women of colour and migrant women.

The news has been dominated by the decision - but how many of us here in the UK know that abortion is a crime in England, Scotland, and Wales? This week, Media Storm speaks to doctors, activists, people who have had abortions, and leading abortion care providers in the UK, to find out just how restrictive the system here actually is. Plus, we hear from reproductive rights activists in Northern Ireland, about why decriminalisation without the services to match it means nothing. 

We’re joined in the studio by Renee Bracey Sherman, founder of We Testify, and hailed as the ‘Beyoncé of Abortion Storytelling', to discuss the why abortion is still seen as a taboo in the mainstream media, the history of the 'debate', and how a minority of anti-abortionists got so loud. 

The episode is hosted by Mathilda Mallinson (@mathildamall) and Helena Wadia (@helenawadia).


  • Katherine O'Brien, British Pregnancy Advisory Service @katherine__ob @BPAS1968
  • Maya Oppenheim @MayaOppenheim
  • Catriona Rennison, Doctors for Choice UK @CatrionaRennis1 @DrsforChoice_UK
  • Bethany Moore @bethanysmm
  • Sophia Smith Galer @sophiasgaler
  • Renee Bracey Sherman @RBraceySherman @reneebraceysherman @AbortionStories


  • Pro-choice UK poll https://bit.ly/3uvZqz7
  • UK abortion statistics 2020 https://bit.ly/3yLUZ5N 
  • 2012 Abortion raids https://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e2313 
  • Anti-abortion advocate told Congress that abortions power street lamps https://bit.ly/3yisyLr
  • Women accused of illegal abortions in England and Wales after miscarriages and stillbirths https://bit.ly/3RiR6fN
  • I had an abortion – and my experience shows how broken the UK system truly is https://bit.ly/3AwaY9u
  • US Donors Are Helping Push Anti-Abortion Agendas in UK schools https://bit.ly/3RscT55  

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Music by Samfire @soundofsamfire. 

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