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CO-ORD: Co-ordinating Campaign for the Defence of the 1967 Abortion Act

  • CO-ORD: Co-ordinating Campaign for the Defence of the 1967 Abortion Act
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


The following is an interim description which may change when detailed cataloguing takes place in future:
Archives relating to the activities of the campaign, 1970s-1990s.



Physical description

27 boxes

Acquisition note

Accession 783 was received along with the archives of the Birth Control Trust in January 1999, and further stray files also from the Birth Control Trust in June 1999

Biographical note

Co-ord was an umbrella organisation which involved disparate organisations, ranging from Tories for Free Choice through to the Child Poverty Action Group to the Young Communist League, united in their belief in defending the 1967 Abortion Act and the provision of abortion services. Co-ord formed in March 1976 by sections of the medical profession which supported the 1967 Act, plus other social work and related professions and other interested groups, including campaigning organisations, political parties and religious groups. There were 16 founder organisations in 1976. By the beginning of 1981 there were 55 members.

The committee was set up when it became clear that a majority of members of the Select Committee appointed by Parliament to consider James White's Abortion (Amendment) Bill were opposed in principle to the 1967 Abortion Act and appeared keen to make it more restrictive. Co-ord agreed with the main conclusions of the Lane Committee on the Working of the Abortion Act and believed that Parliament should stop considering Amendment Bills designed to restrict the availability of abortion. It believed in full implementation of the 1967 Act in all regions of the country; development of abortion outpatient clinics providing day-care facilities and the setting up of special abortion clinics in area where the current NHS service was inadequate; speedy referral for treatment and easy access to objective counselling for women uncertain about their need for an abortion; unrestricted advertising of birth control services, including abortion facilities, in public places and in the mass media.

Member organisations of Co-od (as of 1990) included: Abortion Law Reform Association, Alliance of Radical Methodists, Birth Control Campaign, Birth Control Trust, British Association of Social Workers, British Humanist Association, British Pregnancy Advisory Service, Brook Advisory Centres, Child Poverty Action Group, Christians for Free Choice, Communist Party of Great Britain, Confederation of Health Service Employees, Conservation Trust, Co-operative Women's Guild, Doctors and Overpopulation Group, Doctors for a Woman's Choice on Abortion, Family Planning Association, Haldane Society, Labour Aboration Rights Campaign, Liberals for Choice, London Youth Advisory Centre, Marie Stopes House, Medical Practitioners' Union, National Abortion Campaign, National Association of Probation Officers, National Association of Young People's Counselling and Advisory Services, National Council for Civil Liberties, National Council for One Parent Families, National Joint Committee of Working Women's Organisations, National Labour Women's Committee, National Organisation of Labour Students, National Secular Society, National Union of Journalists, Equality Working Party, National Union of Public Employees, National Union of School Students, National Union of Students, Northern Ireland Abortion Law Reform Association, Pregnancy Advisory Service, Rainer Foundation, Rationalist Press Association, Release, Scottish National Abortion Campaign, Socialist Educational Association, Socialist Health Association, Student Christian Movement of Britain and Ireland, Support after Termination for Abnormality, Tories for the Abortion Act, Ulster Pregnancy Advisory Service, Women's Abortion and Contraception Campaign (Bristol), Women's Aid Federation (England), Women's Health Forum, Women's Health and Reproductive Rights Information Centre, Young Communist League.

Co-ord was dissolved in 1998.

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