British Pro-Life Groups Upset Government Wants Nurses Doing Abortions

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 5, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Pro-Life Groups Upset Government Wants Nurses Doing Abortions Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 5,

London, England ( — British pro-life groups are upset that the government there is planning to authorize nurses and other non-doctors to do abortions and to give women the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug. The abortion pill has been responsible for the deaths of two women in England, thirteen worldwide and has injured more than 1,100 women in the U.S.

Under the current law in England two doctors must sign off on an abortion.

But, the British government appears ready to ditch the normal pro-abortion notion that an abortion should be between a woman and her physician.

The government also says abortions can be done in private surgical offices rather than in hospitals.

“We are formally evaluating the safety and effectiveness of providing early medical abortion services in non-traditional settings, which in the future, could be a community medical setting such as a doctor’s surgery which has the appropriate medical expertise," the Department of Health said Wednesday.

Those new positions upset John Smeaton, the national director of the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child, one of the leading pro-life groups in Britain.

“This is all part of government policy to increase access to abortions, which will lead to an increase in abortion," he said in a statement.

“Quite apart from completely ignoring the rights of the unborn child, the government is ignoring a significant body of medical opinion and human experience which shows that abortion is unsafe for women," he added.

Smeaton said he worries that women are given less time to consider abortion alternatives and will face more pressure to have abortions.

He is also concerned that doctors, nurses and other medical professionals may face obligations to do abortions and have their right to opt out of participating in an abortion abrogated by the government or health care facilities.

The move comes as the British Parliament is debating the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Some MPs have called for the 24-week time limit on abortions to be reduced so there are fewer late-term abortions there.

Pro-abortion MPs want the move to one doctor and to allow nurses to do abortions to be placed in the bill as amendments.