The head of one of the world’s largest abortion chains is facing calls to resign after British government officials discovered serious safety concerns at its facilities in the UK.
On Friday, The Guardian reported the abortion chain Marie Stopes International suspended certain abortion procedures as a result of the British Care Quality Commission’s findings. The suspension includes abortions on under-age girls and vulnerable groups of women, and abortions using general anesthetic or conscious sedation. In addition, its Norwich facility is not performing any surgical abortions, the commission said.
Over the weekend, The Daily Mail reported that Ann Furedi, the chief executive of Britain’s other top abortion chain, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said Marie Stopes Chief Executive Simon Cooke “should resign.”
“If I were in a situation like this I would say it is a resigning matter,” Furedi told The Daily Mail. “I actually believe my board chair, and chairman of our clinical governance committee would be looking at this in this way. It’s a huge failure.”
Furedi later disputed the quotes. She told Third Sector that she did not say Cooke should resign, but that she would be expected to resign if faced with a similar situation involving her abortion chain. Furedi said she was not in a position to say whether Cooke should resign because she does not know the details of the situation.
The CQC has not released details about its findings at the Marie Stopes abortion facilities. A full report is expected in the fall.
The commission said its health inspectors began reporting concerns after conducting inspections of the abortion facilities. Their concerns led to an unannounced inspection of the Marie Stopes headquarters in England and its call center within the past month, according to the Guardian. Its inspectors found concerns related to “consent” and “training and competence in conscious sedation and general anesthesia.”
The commission said drastic action was necessary to “to make sure that patients are protected from potential harm.”
Mark Bhagwandin, a spokesman for the pro-life pregnancy resource organization Life, emphasized to reporters that Marie Stopes International receives millions of British taxpayer dollars for abortions.
“This is not the first time that Marie Stopes clinics have been in the news,” Bhagwandin said. “If in the United Kingdom a regulatory body has to step in to save patients, we must rightly wonder about the safety of millions of women who go to this organization’s clinics worldwide where there may not be regulatory bodies like the CQC.
“It will be interesting to see what the full conclusions of the report are as after all they do receive a lot of tax payers’ money, and if women are not being treated safely it will be a matter of huge public concern,” he said.
In the past few years, LifeNews has reported numerous instances where women allegedly suffered injuries or even died after having abortions at Marie Stopes facilities. In one of the more recent cases, a woman allegedly died from a heart attack caused by “extensive internal blood loss” just hours after having an abortion.
In a 2011 case, a British abortionist lost his medical license after he was accused of nearly killing a woman in a botched abortion at a Marie Stopes abortion facility in West London, LifeNews reported.
Currently, one of its Australia facilities is facing a lawsuit from a woman who said she almost died there after having an abortion. The woman claims that a Marie Stopes abortionist failed to diagnose her ectopic pregnancy before the abortion. A few days later, the woman had to have emergency surgery because her fallopian tube ruptured and threatened her life, according to court documents.
Peter D. Williams, executive officer at Right to Life UK, told the Catholic Herald: “Abortion is always destructive of the lives of unborn children, but when prosecuted as it has been by some abortionists, it can leave women scarred as well. I hope this opens a real debate about the under-regulation of abortion in the UK; one that leads to a proper respect and application of the original intention of Parliament in 1967 and the welfare of women – and increasingly their unborn children – to be made paramount.”
Marie Stopes facilities perform about 70,000 abortions every year in the UK, according to government reports.