Friday 23 March 2012

Health department abortion approach is contradicted by Andrew Lansley's announcement

In a press statement issued today by Paul Tully, SPUC's general secretary, the Society accuses the department of health of organizing a whitewash of abortion practice under the 1967 Abortion Act.

Paul Tully says that Andrew Lansley's statement that abortion clinics would be subject to "unannounced inspections" is  "clearly an exercise by the department of health to sanitise its abortion partners following scandals such as the 'wrong sex' abortions, where the Telegraph found evidence of doctors lying about the grounds for abortion."

Paul Tully says that the Department of Health is promoting abortion on demand - and that the department is prompting doctors to lie when certifying women for abortions.

Consider the following ... Andrew Lansley, the health Secretary, (pictured above), is today reported as saying:
"The rules in the Abortion Act are there for a reason - to ensure there are safeguards for women before an abortion can be carried out. Abortion shouldn't be undertaken lightly and the right checks and balances must be in place."
By way of contrast, the Department of Health website, on a page entitled "Abortion: where to go", responds to the question "Can I be refused an abortion" as follows:
"It's rare for anyone to be refused an abortion. A doctor may have moral objections to abortion, but if that’s the case they should refer you to another doctor who can help. It can be very difficult to get later abortions, so the earlier you seek help the better.

"By law, two doctors have to agree that you can have an abortion. Usually this is the first doctor you see and a second doctor who will perform the abortion, or one who works at the community contraceptive clinic or hospital."
Also sharply contrasting with Andrew Lansley's reported comments today is the following policy statement published by the Department of Health in January 2010:
"The decision to terminate a pregnancy rests with the woman and her doctors. If an abortion is requested by a young woman (under 16 years of age), doctors have an obligation to encourage the young woman to involve her parents or guardian, but generally they should not override the patient’s views." (Section 140, Equality Impact Assessment for National Sexual Health Policy)
Finally, the contradiction in the government position can be seen in the tragic fact that only last October, the British government renewed its commitment to a partnership programme with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) worth over £43 million (of our money as taxpayers). Amongst IPPF's aims is to have abortion recognized as a universal human right.

How Andrew Lansley, the Secretary of State for Health, acts on these breaches of the Abortion Act by British abortion clinics will be the real test of his strong expressions of concern on this matter.

I urge UK readers to contact their MP and to ask him or her to challenge Andrew Lansley on department of health policy in these areas.

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