Saturday, 17 May 2008

Daily Mail: Now NHS doctors refuse to carry out late abortions on moral grounds

NHS doctors are refusing to carry out late abortions, forcing hospitals to contract them out to private clinics and charities.

Growing moral objections mean three-quarters of the 7,000 terminations performed after 17 weeks of pregnancy each year are outside the Health Service.

The revelation comes as MPs prepare to vote on maintaining the 24-week upper limit for "social" abortions in the biggest Parliamentary battle on the issue for two decades.

Experts say late abortions are still provided by the NHS for foetal abnormalities but most of those approved on "social" grounds are referred outside.

Consultant gynaecologist Vincent Argent said there was "marked reluctance" among NHS staff to carry them out.

He said: "This isn't the result of childish squeamishness, these are healthcare professionals trained in with any sort of medicalsituation. But late abortions conflict with everything doctors and nurses are trained to do - preserve life." Read more
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