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British doctors call for easier abortions


29 June, 2007  

Doctors in Britain are calling for access to abortions to be made quicker and easier for women; the move would bring Britain in line with many other European countries.

The doctors, members of the British Medical Association (BMA), have used an annual conference in Torquay to demand that the law be changed so that abortions in the first three months of pregnancy are as easily accessible as other treatments.

A motion that abortions should be performed on the basis of “informed consent”, with patients told about the benefits and risks, was passed by a vote of 67% to 33%. This will now become official BMA policy and executives will lobby parliament and the government to adopt the change.

The doctors also supported a call for only one doctor, rather than the current number of two, to be required to give permission for the abortion.

This would avoid delays which often entail women needing a more invasive surgical procedure.

Doctors at the BMA however rejected calls for midwives and nurses with suitable training to be able to carry out first trimester abortions and the relaxation of laws on what is considered an “approved” place to carry out first-trimester abortions.