ABSTRACT

In 1938, an eminent gynaecologist Alec Bourne terminated the pregnancy of a girl under the age of fifteen at St Mary's Hospital in London. In 1966 David Steel introduced a Parliamentary Bill to liberalise the rules of abortion and it went on to become The Abortion Act of 1967. The first serious assault on the Abortion Act in Parliament was the James White Bill of 1975. The Annual Representative Meeting was told that although the Bill had failed to gain parliamentary time, there was still a risk that it could be reintroduced later that year and so a debate took place. In January 1977, William Benyon introduced yet another Bill to amend the Abortion Act. Victoria Gillick appeared at the High Court in July 1983 seeking a declaration that none of her five daughters — aged 1 to 13 — could be prescribed drugs or be advised on birth control until they were 16.