British Physicians Oppose Government Plan for Abortions at Doctors’ Offices

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 30, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Physicians Oppose Government Plan for Abortions at Doctors’ Offices Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 30,

London, England ( — A new survey finds 86 percent of British physicians oppose a plan by the government to let doctors do abortions at private offices instead of following current regulations requiring them at hospitals. Such hospital standards are typically in place to provide emergency medical care to women or infants injured by botched abortions.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper conducted the survey and found that just 14 percent of the 2,175 doctors polled agreed with the idea.

About 20 percent of the physicians interviewed in the survey said they are pro-life and would not do abortions.

Most of the physicians did not express moral reservations to the government abortion plan but said that doing abortions would compromise women’s safety and add to an already-overwhelming workload. They said women who experience complications following an abortion may not be able to reach a doctor after hours.

The physicians also said the doctor relationship with existing patients would be violated by requirements to do abortions in their private practices.

"It’s a complex issue. It’s not just about a woman taking a pill and then leaving with the problem cured," Dr. Tim Ringrose, who works with a medical web site on the Internet, told the Telegraph newspaper.

Some of the doctors surveyed didn’t want to take on doing abortions because of full schedules and a likely lack of government funding for doing them.

Pro-life groups have strongly opposed the proposal, which saw the British government conduct secret trials at physicians’ offices in recent weeks and could wind up having nurses administering the abortion drug or doing surgical abortions as well.

Julia Millington of the Pro-Life Alliance said the British government should instead be concentrating more on reducing the increasing number of abortions there. Recent figures in Scotland and England have shown the number of abortions on the rise despite the use of the morning after pill.

A Department of Health representative told the Telegraph the final decision on the abortions has not been made.

Of the 200,000 abortions that occur in England on an annual basis, about two-thirds of them are surgical abortions and the rest involve the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug that has killed thirteen women worldwide — two in England — and injured more than 1,100 women in the United States alone.