Protect reproductive rights

Protect reproductive rights

Religion should never block access to abortion or contraception.

We've defended reproductive rights from religiously motivated restrictions since our founding.

Religion should not stand in the way of reproductive healthcare.

A desire to restrict reproductive rights, and to control women's bodies, is a hallmark of religious fundamentalism. We strongly support the right of women to have legal and safe abortions and access to emergency contraception.

Since its founding the National Secular Society has supported reproductive rights. In 1878 our founder and vice-president were prosecuted for making information about birth control accessible to working class women.

Throughout the world, reproductive rights are still under threat from theocrats. While individual religious people hold diverse views on abortion, every stage of progress in reproductive healthcare has been fought by religious organisations. Often these have involved virulent campaigns of intimidation and misinformation.

84% of people in the UK believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. This includes 76% of religious people and 94% of nonreligious people.

In the UK, emergency contraception can still sometimes be difficult to obtain. Some religious pharmacists have defied General Pharmaceutical Council guidance by refusing to sell it or even to dispense a prescription given to a woman after a consultation with her own doctor.

People of all religions and beliefs can have disagreements on the boundaries of bodily autonomy and reproductive rights. However, religious beliefs should not be used to restrict the bodily autonomy of other people.

Take action!

1. Share your story

Tell us why you support this campaign, and how you are personally affected by the issue. You can also let us know if you would like assistance with a particular issue.

2. Join the National Secular Society

Become a member of the National Secular Society today! Together, we can separate religion and state for greater freedom and fairness.

Latest updates

NSS to host talk with author of ‘Dirty, Filthy Book’

NSS to host talk with author of ‘Dirty, Filthy Book’

Posted: Wed, 21 Feb 2024 10:02

Author Michael Meyer to discuss new book on leading NSS figure Annie Besant at free online event.

Kyle Glenn, Unsplash

Faith school banning parts of geography lessons, Ofsted finds

Posted: Wed, 14 Feb 2024 12:33

Ofsted finds faith school prohibiting parts of lessons it judges incompatible with its religious beliefs.