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Reckless guidelines could rush pregnant mothers into abortion procedures

Pregnant mothers could be rushed having into abortions under new proposals from the UK’s health watchdog to NHS organisations.

The guidance makes a series of recommendations which will reduce support for women, threaten the conscience protections of health professionals, and introduce the reality of abortion further into the home away from the care and support of healthcare professionals.

The radical recommendations have been produced by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the official NHS advisory board, in its first abortion guidance and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).

Pro-life campaigners and organisations have branded the guidelines as concerning and reckless.

‘Self-referral’ abortions and no support

The guidelines recommend that women should be able to “self-refer” for an abortion without having to meet with a GP in person.

They also recommend that abortion providers should “ensure minimal delay” in the process thereby reducing the time that women have to reflect upon their decision and explore alternatives to abortion. 

Instead, any request for an abortion should be assessed within a week of the request and that the termination should be provided within a week of the assessment.

The guidelines also suggest increasing the range of locations where abortions can be provided as well as increased funding for travel costs for obtaining abortions and reducing the need for routine follow-up appointments.

It adds that where possible nurses and midwives will reduce the role of a doctor during abortion procedures, instead of doing the job they signed up for – ensuring unborn babies are delivered safely into the world and given the best care possible.

The guidelines claim that early medical abortions will be able to take place in the home with no routine follow-up appointments. It states that women having a medical abortion should be advised “that they may see the pregnancy as they pass it”, “what the pregnancy will look like”, and “whether there may be any movement.”

Spokesperson for Right to Life, Catherine Robinson said:

“The recommendations in these guidelines from NICE will rush women through the abortion process and provide less medical supervision and support for women. In 2018, in the UK 205,292 babies in the womb were aborted. These recommended changes could mean less time for women to explore options other than abortion and see our already very high abortion rate increase even further.

“Contrary to the recommended changes seeking to rush women through the abortion process, a ComRes poll found that 79% of the general public in the UK are in favour of introducing consideration periods to ensure that a woman considering an abortion has had enough time to consider all of the options available to her.

“The guidelines should address the reasons women seek out abortion services in such high numbers in this country, often because of; vulnerability, isolation, lack of financial or emotional support, or pressure from a partner. Simply rushing women through the abortion process does nothing to address the problems these women already face and would only later compound these issues if coupled with post-abortion regret.

“This is a reckless approach to healthcare. Women’s safety and mental or physical health should never be potentially compromised for the sake of expediency or convenience.”

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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Dear reader

In 2020, the UK Government imposed an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland, which included a provision that legalised abortion right up to birth for disabilties including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

A new Bill has been launched at the Northern Ireland assembly that will remove the current provision that allows abortion for ‘severe fetal impairment’.

It is under these grounds in the regulations that babies with disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot can currently be singled out for abortion in Northern Ireland because of their disability and can be aborted right up to birth.

Before the new abortion regime was imposed on Northern Ireland in 2020, disability-selective abortion for conditions such as Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot was not legal and there was a culture of welcoming and supporting people with these disabilities rather than eliminating them.

This is reflected directly in the latest figures (2016) from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, which show that while there were 52 children born with Down’s syndrome in Northern Ireland, in the same year only 1 child from Northern Ireland with Down’s syndrome was aborted in England and Wales. 

This contrasts with the situation in the rest of the United Kingdom where disability-selective abortion has been legal since 1967.

The latest available figures show that 90% of children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome before birth are aborted in England and Wales.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to take 30 seconds of your time and add your support to the campaign to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot in Northern Ireland.

If you live in Northern Ireland: 
Ask your MLAs to vote to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot:

If you live outside Northern Ireland: 
Show your support by signing this petition in support of the Bill:

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Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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