BBC to provide abortion information after Call the Midwife controversy

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  • The BBC has confirmed that they will provide information on abortions after Call the Midwife controversy.

    After being criticised over a controversial plotline on popular hit Call the Midwife, the broadcaster has said that they will include a link on their website that viewers can use to access information on abortions.

    This comes after the organisation aired an episode of the period drama on Sunday 3rd February on BBC One, which followed a controversial storyline on the subject.

    The episode followed a patient who underwent an illegal backstreet abortion, and died following the procedure.

    At the end of the sensitive episode, a message was displayed advising viewers to visit the BBC Action Line for further information on the delicate issues covered in the programme.

    However, those who did visit the website found no information around abortion and went on to criticise the organisation for their lack of support.

    The issue was consequently raised by various organisations, including the UK’s largest abortion provider the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), but BBC Action Line said that they had not included a link to advice on abortion because the topic was ‘contentious’.

    However, after continued complaints and backlash on Twitter, with comments including, ‘Shame on you @BBC for perpetuating stigmatisation of abortion and those who have need to access this normal healthcare service. This is not good enough’, the BBC went back on their previous decision and decided to add a link with information about abortion to their website.

    ‘There continues to be debate about abortion in the UK,’ said a BBC spokesperson.

    ‘The Abortion Act 1967 reformed the law relating to abortion but does not apply in Northern Ireland, where the framework for abortion therefore differs from other parts of UK.

    ‘Given these differences we have added a direct link to the relevant NHS page, which has information on abortion for England, Scotland and Wales.

    ‘As with some other widely debated issues, the Action Line does not link to all organisations.’

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