Following a campaign by Women for Refugee Women, Birth Companions, Medical Justice, Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the British Medical Association and Maternity Action, the Government has agreed to maintain the 72-hour time limit on the detention of pregnant women seeking sanctuary in the UK.
This win follows our joint briefing opposing the indefinite detention of pregnant women; a 'Write to your MP' campaign; Baroness Lister's amendment tabled in the House of Lords, and a resounding Lords vote in favour of the amendment.
This is a small but vital amendment to the Government's so-called 'Illegal' Migration Bill, that will protect pregnant women and their unborn babies from the harms of indefinite detention.
The 72-hour time limit on the detention of pregnant women was introduced in 2016, in direct response to evidence of the huge risks and impacts of detaining pregnant women; and thanks to campaigning by Birth Companions, Women for Refugee Women, and many others. The Government's attempt to remove this protection was cruel and extremely dangerous.
We are so pleased to have been able to play our part in fighting to maintain this vital protection, alongside other incredible organisations and individuals. However, the fight must now continue. The 'Illegal' Migration Bill is an extremely harmful piece of legislation that will have devastating consequences for women and their families fleeing conflict, persecution, trauma and abuse. We look forward to working closely with Women for Refugee Women and others as this fight continues.