The Royal College of Midwives' position statement on abortion calls for the decriminalisation of abortion at any stage.
On the face of it, to me it is a madness that defies comprehension. Abortion is already available pretty freely (and in practice, on demand) up to 12 weeks. It is available with further safeguards up to 24 weeks. It is available for medical reasons up to full term.
What IS illegal is self-induced abortion, and abortion by someone other than a registered medical practitioner. The only prosecution I can find anywhere of self-induced abortion outside of Northern Ireland is of a woman who used medication bought online to induce her own abortion in the third trimester, so after 28 weeks.
So what will legalising abortion up to full term, and by anyone, achieve? I think to answer this, we also need to look at attitudes to abortion.
As I was growing up in the 70s and early 80s, if a teenager got pregnant, the assumption was that she would abort the baby. It was one of those things that went unspoken but was known. Having a baby in your teens was frowned upon, and so it very rarely happened. Then this happened: