Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This was bound to happen at some point

It appears that more and more doctors in the UK are refusing to do abortions.

Britain is facing an abortion crisis because an unprecedented number of doctors are refusing to be involved in carrying out the procedure. The exodus of doctors prepared to perform the task is a nationwide phenomenon that threatens to plunge the abortion service into chaos, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has warned.

Distaste at performing terminations combined with ethical and religious convictions has led to a big increase in "conscientious objectors" who request exemption from the task, the RCOG says. A key factor is what specialists call "the dinner party test". Gynaecologists who specialise in fertility treatment creating babies for childless couples are almost universally revered - but no one boasts of being an abortionist

As a result, after decades of campaigning, anti-abortion organisations may be on the point of achieving their objective by default. Repeated efforts to tighten the law have failed and public opinion remains firmly in support, but the growing number of doctors refusing to do the work means there may soon not be enough prepared to carry out terminations to meet demand.

Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, which carries out a quarter of all abortions performed in England, said: "There is a real crisis looming. Unless we can address the problem and motivate doctors to train in abortion, we may well face a situation in five years' time in which women's access to abortion is severely restricted. It is our biggest headache."

I'm not sure what to make of this, or if it can even be declared a victory for life, as it seems to come from a dislike of the status of the job rather than a concern for the infant or mother. It is interesting. I'll bet that some type of legislation will be involved, however, which will turn it into a genuine mess.


Anonymous said...

On reading this I realize I have somewhat of a mental disconnect here.

I have no problem at all with doctors opting to not perform abortions if they don't wish to.

On the other hand, I have a real problem with pharmacists refusing to dispense "morning-after" pills to patients with prescriptions.

I guess it's not a complete disconnect -- one can certainly argue there is a major difference in the level of active participation by the doctor versus the pharmacist. Still, I am going to need to think about this some.

Sirocco said...

As an aside, I have taken the plunge and started a blog of my own, titled A Bunch of Hot Air. We'll see how long it lasts.

Framer said...


So the blog hobo has found a home. I believe you will do just fine, if you find it tedious, let me know. I have thought about giving you your own key here for a while.

Just make sure that that your blog doesn't cut into your volume of cross posting :)

Sirocco said...

Heh ... I doubt it will cut down on my cross-posting. I have to see what other people are thinking in order to keep up to date with everything. :)