Doctors Warn Against Proposed Abortion Law

Women forced to take abortion pills by abusive partners. Sex-selective abortions. Late-term terminations with abortion pills. These are the sort of horrors foreseen by many doctors if a propose new law goes ahead.  Almost 500 medics have urged MPs to vote against an attempt to decriminalise abortion for women in England and Wales.

In their open letter, the medics warned that Labour MP Dame Diana Johnson’s amendment to the Government’s Criminal Justice Bill would enable pregnant women to take DIY abortion pills at any stage without sanctions.

The Bill is awaiting Report Stage, when MPs will be able to vote on Johnson’s amendment to remove women from the criminal law related to abortion.

The letter states: “If offences that make it illegal for a woman to perform her own abortion at any gestation were repealed, such abortions would, de facto, become possible up to birth for any reason including abortions for sex-selective purposes, as women could mistakenly or wilfully mislead abortion providers about their gestational age.”

“Quite aside from the increased number of viable babies’ lives being ended beyond the 24-week time limit, there would likely be a significant increase in such complications as it would remove any legal deterrent against women performing their own abortions late in pregnancy.”

In addition, the medics urged MPs to restore the requirement for in-person abortion consultations so the baby’s gestational age can be accurately assessed.

From last month, parents who lose a baby before 24 weeks can now apply for an official certificate to recognise their loss.

Samantha Collinge, Co-chair of the Pregnancy Loss Review, said: “Miscarriage and other types of pre-24 weeks baby loss is often minimised and treated as a ‘clinical event’ or ‘just one of those things’ rather than the loss of a baby and sadly the emotional impact of the loss is often disregarded.”

“I hope that the introduction of a national certificate of baby loss will give bereaved parents the official recognition that their babies did exist and that their babies’ lives, however brief, really do matter.”

Right to Life UK spokeswoman Catherine Robinson welcomed the scheme, but said it “highlights the dissonance between recognising that a baby exists before 24 weeks, and allowing a baby of the same age to be aborted”.