Ann Furedi argues that debates about abortion often focus on abstract concepts of when human life begins in the womb. Instead, she argues that it is important to consider a different human life – that of the woman. The future of a woman’s pregnancy should be for her alone to decide, and this decision ought to be regarded as personal and private. There is no clearer illustration of the way choice, agency and responsibility matters than the consequences of a woman’s decision about her pregnancy, she says. To prevent someone from exercising their own choice, in a personal and private matter, is to strip them of their dignity and their humanity. Most importantly, she argues, we cannot respect the principles of freedom without acknowledging the freedom of reproductive choice.

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Ann Furedi is the author of The Moral Case for Abortion (second edition 2022). Until last year, Ann ran the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas), which provides about half of all abortions in Britain, a position she held for almost two decades. Ann has now stepped back from services and advocacy to indulge in some serious study. She recently completed a master’s degree in philosophy and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Science by Kent University for her work on abortion law and ethics.

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