Page 3, 17th April 1998

17th April 1998
Page 3
Page 3, 17th April 1998 — Abortion on demand debate reignited

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Organisations: NHS


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Abortion on demand debate reignited


THE Socrin-v for the Protection of Unborn Children has accused the Birth Control Trust, a pro-choice organisation, of campaigning for measures that would both increase the number of abortions carried out and put undue pressure on doctors to consent to abortion on demand.

The Birth Control Trust have prepared a report called Abortion Provision in Britain which concludes that "NHS provision varies considerably" and recommends four improvements to abortion services.

If the Trust's proposals were followed, health authorities would be required to meet the demand for abortions in the same way as they must meet the demand for antenatal and maternity services; doctors would have to state in their practice leaflets whether they are in principle willing to refer

women for abortions; special clinics would be setup to provide early (up to nine weeks) abortions using the mifeprestone and prostaglandin drug combination.

Brendan Gerard of SPUC said this week that for the NHS to fund such procedures was "a complete inversion of the role of the NHS in preserving life and health". He told the Catholic Herald that the call for doctors to indicate in their practice leaflets whether they would refer women for

legal abortions "will put pressure on those doctors who, even if they favour abortion in some cases, are not in favour of aboriton on demand". According to Mr Gerard, the ultimate aim of abortion advocates was "abortion on demand" at up to 12 weeks, on the signature of only one doctor.

"The Birth Control Trust is obviously seeking to generate demand for [mifeprestone RU486] by calling for it to be more widely available for early abortions," he said.

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