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Abortion decision threatens value of consulting public

Over the past 20 years the Scottish government has conducted hundreds of consultations, generating many thousands of responses. Consultations were seen as a mechanism to garner evidence and opinion from organisations and individuals which fed in to the public policy and legislative process.

They set out to “seek views” and “gather evidence” and seemed like an entirely innocuous way of taking the pulse of the nation. Or at least they were until last week when the Scottish government broke with every previous convention and deliberately set out to diminish and demean the views of thousands of individuals who took part in the Consultation on Future Arrangements for Early Medical Abortion at Home.

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