Thursday, 16 January 2014

Urgent: abortion clinic licensing consultation

A consultation is being conducted (closing date/time: Monday 3 February at noon) by the Department of Health into the Operating Procedures for licensed abortion clinics.

You can contribute online via this link:
(click on the words "ONLINE SURVEY").

You can contribute by post, by downloading the document "Consultation Response Form.docx", also from the web-page above.

The consultation documents are also available from links on the same web-page (Note: one of the consultation documents gives the closing date as "17 January" - this has been extended to noon on 3 February.)

We would encourage you to send a copy of your contribution to your MP. You might wish to do this by composing your responses in a letter, and then copying them into the website response form.

The questions:

Consultation question: "Do the updated RSOPs [Required Standard Operating Procedures] include the necessary requirements to ensure women receive a safe, high quality, service from independent sector abortion providers which meets the requirements of the Abortion Act?"
SPUC's advice: Write "no" - or leave blank on the grounds that such "requirements" are not ethically possible. [Note: The online version of the submission only allows a "yes" or "no" answer to this question: on the paper/downloadable version, you can expand your answer. If you are responding online however, you can add further comments in response to the final question.]

SPUC's background information: No abortion providers meet the requirements of the Act stipulating that two doctors must form an opinion in good faith that the abortion is necessary for the health of the pregnant woman or other statutory grounds. Abortion clinics routinely practise abortion on request. The RSOPs require abortion clinic proprietors to undertake to comply with the Abortion Act. None of them complies with the Act, and some of them openly defy the Act. Most abortions are said to be on grounds of the mental health of the woman. Doctors state this, falsely, on abortion notification forms. The willingness of doctors to lie on statutory forms which they sign "in good faith" indicates that they hold the law in contempt and are not fit to practise medicine, and clinics which employ such doctors should not be licensed.

Consultation question: "Are there any other RSOPs or requirements that you think should be included? If so, what are they, and why are they needed?"
SPUC's advice: We would caution against suggesting any so-called 'safeguards' that would implicitly accept the principle of legalised killing of the unborn. You might rather suggest here that groups which try to stop women from accessing pregnancy support organisations which offer alternatives to abortion should not be regarded as fit to run a clinic. Organisations which promote abortion by calling for 'abortion on demand' or by seeking to advertise their services in the mass media are demonstrating a commercial approach which is at odds with Parliament's approach to the abortion law, and should not be granted licences.

Consultation question: "Do you have any other comments you would like to make in relation to this consultation?
SPUC's advice: You may add any comments you wish here.

Please don't forget to send a copy to your MP, and ask him/her to raise these issues with the Minister.

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