Scotland Officials to Cut Abortion Waiting Times While Maternity Wards Full

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 2, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Scotland Officials to Cut Abortion Waiting Times While Maternity Wards Full

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 2
, 2008

Glasgow, Scotland ( — Officials in Scotland have unveiled a plan to cut the waiting time for women having abortions while news reports from just months ago show British maternity wards are turning away women because they’re full. While women seeking to have a baby may not get help, the government is pushing abortions forward.

The new Scotland rules say women who want an abortion within the first nine weeks of pregnancy will be guaranteed access to a physician for one.

The hope of the National Health Service, the British taxpayer-funded, government-run health system, is to reach the goal of having 70 percent of women getting abortions before they’re nine weeks pregnant.

The NHS agency Quality Improvement Scotland released the report, according to a Scotsman newspaper story.

The report came out after statistics showed areas such as Lanarkshire saw only half of women get abortions within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. Women also had to wait for abortions in Highlands, Borders and other areas.

"The earlier a termination of pregnancy is performed, the lower the risk of complications," the report said, according to the Scotsman. "Services must, therefore, offer arrangements that minimize delay in providing a safe termination of pregnancy, whilst also allowing sufficient time to consider other options."

The report makes no sense to the Catholic Church in Scotland and the Scotsman said a represented spoke with the paper about it and the new figures showing abortions in Scotland increasing again.

Abortions in Scotland rose four percent according to a report from the British national health Service and now number 13,703.

That increase came after NHS reported 13,081 abortions in 2006, up from 12,603 the previous year — an increase of nearly 3.8 percent.

"There is a very real danger that this fast-tracking may lead to abortion being seen as a routine medical procedure," the spokesman said. "With our already sky-high abortion rates, this is a very dangerous and very unhelpful message to send out."

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

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.

One hospital turned away pregnant women 28 times and another did so 39 times.