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Five National Abortion Campaign badges, United Kingdom, 1970-1981

These badges protest a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. The National Abortion Campaign (NAC) was set up in 1975. It protested against proposed changes to the 1967 Abortion Act in Britain. Its members saw abortion becoming the campaigning rights issue it continues to be today. The Act stated an abortion must be performed by a registered medical practitioner. The Act also stated two medical practitioners must agree the abortion is necessary if there is a risk to the physical or mental health of the mother or if the child would be severely mentally or physically handicapped. The law was amended in 1990 to prevent abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy. A foetus is considered viable after 24 weeks. This means it can survive outside the womb. There are now calls to lower the legal limits further. However, it is ruled that if continuing the pregnancy risks the life of the mother then an abortion can take place any time. The NAC merged with the Abortion Law Reform Association (ALRA) to form Abortion Rights in 2003.

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Glossary: badge

Objects bearing special or distinctive marks, tokens, or devices signifying membership, allegiance, authority, or qualification; usually worn on the person.