Poll Shows British Doctors Want More Abortion Limits, Would Refuse to Do Them

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 10, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Poll Shows British Doctors Want More Abortion Limits, Would Refuse to Do Them

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 10
, 2009

London, England (LifeNews.com) — A new poll of British doctors finds one-third would refuse to participate in one and almost half want to see more limits on later-term abortions. The poll also found more than half of physicians said that offering abortions at their offices would lead to an increase in the number of abortions.

GP Newspaper surveyed 480 doctors and found that 33 percent would not work in a hospital or medical center where abortions are done.

The survey comes as primary care trusts across the country are preparing to offer abortions using the dangerous mifepristone drug that has caused the deaths of more than a dozen women worldwide and injured more than 1,200 in the U.S. alone.

Some 56 percent of doctors said that would lead to more abortions at a time when England is already setting annual records for abortion increases.

The poll found 42 percent of doctors want a cut in the 24-week time limit for abortions and 11 percent of those surveyed wanted it dropped to only allowing abortions to 15 weeks into pregnancy.

Another 75 percent of physicians also disagreed with an idea the government is promoting to remove the two-doctor requirement for an abortion and 61 percent said abortions should be confined to a hospital where medical care could be provided when they are botched.

Despite the poll, the British Health Secretary has the power to change the law to remove the requirements or make abortions more available.

Dr. Trevor Stammers, chairman of the Christian Medical Fellowship and a GP in south London, responded to the survey and said using the abortion drug isn’t safe for women.

"Medical abortions are not a harmless procedure. Uterine rupture and bleeding, though rare, will occur and GPs should rightly be reluctant to take on the risk," he told the London Daily Mail.

"I will play no part in brutalizing women in such a way and will do all I can to try and help women to see that abortion may not be the best way out in the long run," he added.

This is the second poll to show doctors favoring cutting abortions and keeping limits in place.

A May 2008 survey by the web site Doctors.net.uk found 54 percent of doctors want the abortion limit dropped to 20 weeks from the current 24 weeks into pregnancy. Another 15 percent added they would support moving the limit to 22 weeks.

Dr. Tom Ringrose, who operates the web site, told the London Daily Mail, "A majority of doctors clearly want to lower the upper time limit for abortions."

"The Internet poll of 210 doctors found only 31 percent wanted the abortion limit to stay at 24 weeks," he said.

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