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Press comment – Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) tells medical professionals not to report illegal abortions to the police

RCOG tells medical professionals not to report illegal abortions to the police

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said:

“It is deeply inappropriate for the RCOG to usurp Parliament by issuing guidance related to criminal investigations. Where a crime is suspected of being committed, it is the role of the legal system to determine whether or not a crime took place and whether or not it is in the public interest to prosecute”.

“This guidance is also especially alarming in regard to instances of coerced abortions. Illegal abortions can occur as a result of abuse, coercion or sex trafficking. This new guidance appears to create a presumption against disclosing information about illegal abortions to the police, and this could leave vulnerable women in these situations being denied the protection of the law”. 

“It is also worth noting that Dr Jonathan Lord, one of the authors of this guidance, is the Medical Director of MSI Reproductive Choices, one of the largest abortion providers in the UK. This is a clear conflict of interest since this guidance is essentially pushing for reduced legal oversight into an area in which he has a significant stake”.

“The actual cause of the, albeit small, increase in the number of prosecutions following an illegal abortion, as recently admitted by abortion campaigner Stella Creasy MP, is because of the ‘pills-by-post’ scheme which has led to an increase in illegal late-term abortions, and which was supported by Diana Johnson, Stella Creasy, BPAS and MSI Reproductive Choices.

“Rather than making the situation worse and making our abortion laws even more extreme, Parliament ought to protect women by seeking the reinstatement of the requirement for in-person medical appointments to verify gestational age and assess a woman’s health before abortion pills can be prescribed”.