Friday, May 09, 2014

MPs demand police inquiry into abortion practice

That David Cameron's Government has overseen the largest liberalisation of abortion practice since the Abortion Act was passed in 1967 has been widely reported.

The act says that abortions would be permitted if two doctors were of the opinion, formed in good faith, that certain conditions applied - for instance, that continuance of the pregnancy would involve greater risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the mother or her family than if the pregnancy were terminated.

Former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said he would consult on new guidelines. He secretly issued interim guidelines to independent abortion providers suggesting it was not necessary for the two doctors to see the women - 17 months before the consultation began. He did not inform Parliament.

The  Department of Health later said they considered it good practice that one of the certifying doctors saw the woman, although this was not a legal requirement.

The Telegraph secretly filmed two doctors agreeing to abortions on the ground of the unborn baby's sex, which is illegal. The Crown Prosecution Service admitted there was enough evidence to take the doctors to court, but said it was not in the public interest to prosecute. They said there was no need to mount a prosecution because the General Medical Council could deal with the case. Campaigners complained that doctors were being put above the law.

The Care Quality Commission, whose job it is to inspect abortion clinics, discovered that 67 doctors had been breaking the law by pre-signing blank abortion forms without any knowledge of the women concerned. One doctor had pre-signed so many blank forms that they were still being used by the abortion clinic four years after he left.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the General Medical Council, said the prosecution service had looked into two pre-signing cases and concluded it was not in the public interest to pursue the doctors concerned. The GMC had decided not to bring fitness to practise hearings, pointing out that what had been done was common practice.

He refused to name the doctors or give any details of their positions. He said the doctors had given assurances not to pre-sign forms in the future.

Which goes to prove what everyone knew, that we have had abortion on demand, irrespective of the law.

Eleven MPs have written to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner demanding a criminal investigation into evidence that doctors had pre-signed abortion forms. "It is impossible to come to a medical judgment without knowing any of the details of a patient's case," their letter says.

The Metropolitan Police said the letter was being studied.

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