British Govt Wants Abortions in Non-Hospital Settings While Other Patients Wait

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 7, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Govt Wants Abortions in Non-Hospital Settings While Other Patients Wait

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 7
, 2008

London, England ( — While patients seeking legitimate medical services languish on waiting lists for needed surgeries and doctors visits, the British government wants to lessen the wait for women seeking abortions. The debate about abortions at non-hospital settings also comes as MPs look to limit late-term abortions.

The British government released a study Wednesday showing early abortions using the dangerous abortion drug RU 486 could be done in a private clinic setting.

Public health minister Dawn Primarolo told the BBC that any relaxing of the rules on abortions would only come after consultation with National Health Service officials.

"Our priority is to reduce the time women have to wait for an abortion at what is already a very difficult time for them," she said.

The study involved nurses at private clinics giving women the mifepristone abortion drug under supervision by a physician.

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC political secretary, responded to the news, telling, "Easier access to abortion trivialises the killing of unborn children and the damage caused to mothers and society by abortion."

"The recent draft position statement from the Royal College of Psychiatrists confirms that women may be at risk of developing mental problems as a result of having an abortion. This reflects the findings of the 2006 Fergusson study which suggested that abortion in young women may be associated with increased risks of mental health problems," he added.

While the Marie Stopes abortion business welcomed the move — and would ostensibly gain from it at their privately-run abortion centers — Julia Millington, of the Prolife Alliance, criticized it.

"Genuine efforts to reduce the number of abortions would be more welcomed by the majority of the population, but the best the government can come up with in the face of escalating abortion figures is quick-fix schemes to speed up the process," she told the BBC.

The move for more abortion sites and a decreased waiting time for an abortion comes as a leading member of the British Parliament has re-launched her effort to scale back the limit on late-term abortions from 24 weeks to 20 weeks into pregnancy.

Dorries says she worries Britain is becoming the "abortion capital" of Europe and she says the government needs to send a "less casual message" to young women not to be so cavalier about sex and abortion.

Meanwhile, a March report found half of all hospitals in England under the nation’s health care service turned away expectant mothers because they were too full.

The news could prompt some women who fear a lack of proper medical care to have abortions and one pro-life watchdog says he’s concerned about the implications for the U.S.

The government data revealed larger hospitals were more likely to turn away pregnant women while smaller hospitals and medical clinics were less likely to be full.

About 42 percent of the medical facilities report turning expectant mothers away at least once during 2007 and nine percent did that more than 10 times.