British Officials Investigate Doctor for Urging Women to Rethink Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 12, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Officials Investigate Doctor for Urging Women to Rethink Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 12,

London, England ( — A pro-life doctor in England is coming under fire for having the temerity to suggest to women considering an abortion that they should rethink their decision in light of the medical and mental health problems they cause. Now British officials who monitor doctors are investigating her practice.

Dr. Tammie Downes, a family physician, says at least eight women are grateful to her after she told them they should reconsider their abortion decisions. They have given birth to children they adore.

However, Downes is under investigation by the General Medical Council for potentially violating the nation’s guidelines on handling abortion.

According to the London Daily Mail newspaper, Dr. Downes could be removed from the official registered of licensed physicians and lose her job if the GMC decides to discipline her fully.

Ironically, the complaint GMC has against Downes doesn’t come from a former patient, but came after a May interview she granted to the Daily Mail in which she described how she urged women considering an abortion to keep their baby instead.

Downes told the newspaper she never tries to strong-arm anyone into a decision against having an abortion.

"I give them the facts and allow them space to think through the decision that they are making," she said. "It has to be the mother’s choice. I have no right to make that choice for them. But I do think it is my duty as a doctor to help a woman make that choice."

Downes, who has been a medical doctor for 12 years, added, "People talk about being pro-choice as being pro-abortion, but I like to think I am pro an informed choice, which many women don’t always make."

The physician is also coming under fire from Dr. Evan Harris, a Liberal Democrat MP who has drawn scorn from pro-life groups for his extreme pro-abortion and pro-euthanasia views.

"By her own admission this doctor tries to persuade patients to go in one direction only and boasts of her ‘success’ in a national newspaper," Harris told the Daily Mail.

Harris is said to be ready to lead a fight in the British parliament to expand legalized abortion in England by allowing nurses to do abortions unsupervised by physicians.