Fewer physicians in United Kingdom willing to provide abortions

Inspections by the Care and Quality Commission of 250 abortion facilities in England found that, in as many as 50 of them, consent forms for abortion were being pre-signed by physicians.  In addition, the Daily Mail disclosed the practice of sex selective abortions by some physicians, who now face discipline from the General Medical Council.  Report of these incidents have triggered complaints from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service and abortion activists.  They are concerned that few physicians are willing to train to do abortions and that it is difficult to find any who will perform the procedure.  The groups fear that public protest and controversy will “put doctors and nurses off becoming involved” in the service.  They state that most National Health Service physicians will not do abortions beyond 12 to 14 weeks; only a small number of physicians in the country will do later abortions.  “It’s probably not a dozen people in the country who are doing the ones around 20 weeks and beyond.” 17 gynaecologists, academics and consultants expressed similar concerns in a letter in The Guardian, expressing distress at the prospect that physicians might be disciplined or prosecuted for unethical or illegal practices.[The Guardian]

One thought on “Fewer physicians in United Kingdom willing to provide abortions”

  1. The letter and article indicate the need for robust protection of conscience legislation, particularly since senior clinicians and researchers appear to be willing to support practices that are ethically and legally questionable.

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