England may begin allowing midwives to perform surgical abortions after a recent legal report claimed the law allows non-doctors to conduct the deadly procedures.
The controversial, taxpayer-funded research by law professor and abortion advocate Sally Sheldon claims midwives should be allowed to perform abortions under the 1967 Abortion Act, according to the Daily Mail.
Her research, conducted using £500,000 in taxpayer funds, claims the act has been misinterpreted to say that only doctors can do surgical abortions, the report states.
Some midwives and lawmakers are pushing back against the idea. MP Maria Caufield, a former nurse, told the Mail that midwives are feeling pressured to participate in ending unborn babies’ lives.
“One minute they are being asked to save lives, the next to carry out abortions,” Caufield said.
Here’s more from the report:
Prof Sheldon – an advocate for the lifting of the ban on abortions past 24 weeks – was given a £500,000 government grant to ‘fundamentally re-evaluate’ the 50-year-old law.
She said the move to allow midwives and nurses to carry out surgical abortions would speed up services and save the NHS money.
More than half of all abortions in the UK are carried out with drugs that expel the embryo from the uterus, and nurses and midwives are allowed to administer these.
The British pro-life group SPUC said Sheldon’s extreme abortion advocacy goes back more than two decades. It said she has campaigned for abortion on demand, including abortions for sex-selection purposes.
In a press release, Dr Tom Rogers, SPUC’s Education Outreach Manager, said:
“It’s nothing short of scandalous that public money should be frittered away on a project of this nature. As if it is not in itself abominable that taxpayers’ money is being used to fund state sponsored abortions on a daily basis, now we learn that more state funds – in excess of £500,000 – are to be showered on a pro-abortion activist to tell the state how well it is doing in spending this money killing unborn babies…Instead of celebrating the 50th anniversary of abortion legislation they should be using this money to help bring an end to abortion, by among other things, assisting mothers with practical support in crisis pregnancies.”
However, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists supports Sheldon’s conclusion, according to the report.
The Royal College of Midwives did not respond to a request for comment from the Mail; however, the head of the midwives group, Cathy Warwick, has been lobbying the government to legalize late-term abortions for any reason up to birth. Currently, abortions are prohibited after 24 weeks in England, with limited exceptions.
In 2016, Warwick faced heavy criticism after she used her role in the midwives group to push late-term abortions. Without consulting members, Warwick published a RCM policy that supports abortion on demand, according to the UK Metro. She also got the midwives group involved in a campaign to push for the legalization of abortions for any reason up until birth, according to the report. The campaign is led by the pro-abortion British Pregnancy Advisory Service, and Warwick is the chairwoman of its board.
In the United States, most states require doctors to perform abortion procedures. California is an exception. In 2013, California lawmakers passed a law allowing nurses and midwives to perform first-trimester surgical abortions. Non-doctors also are allowed to administer chemical abortion drugs to patients in the state.