Pregnancy group plans to raise PR work on abortion

The UK’s largest abortion services provider, The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), is carrying out a review of communications, with the aim of increasing both PR and public affairs activity.

CEO Ann Furedi, who joined the charity last month from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) where she was director of policy and communications, is overseeing the review.

A likely outcome is the development of a fresh media relations strategy aimed at removing stigmas attached to abortion, and putting out the message that ‘the strength of opposition is exaggerated’, according to Furedi.

‘Abortion is what it is, a back-up for women to manage their fertility. Abortion is okay,’ she added.

The charity, which provides services for 50,000 women a year, currently has no dedicated PROs, with comms managed by director of marketing and communications Alan Nicholls.

Furedi is expected to create a press office function and is set to strengthen public affairs activity. She also aims to increase contact with pro- choice MPs and the Department of Health, while adding that she wanted journalists to call on BPAS more regularly when looking for experts on abortion issues.

Furedi has campaigned on abortion issues since 1979 and previously worked at BPAS as its last director of communications, before leaving last year to join the HFEA.

Tim Whitaker, who joined last month from the Qualifications Curriculum Authority, where he was director of comms and knowledge management, has replaced her.

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