Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 66(3) Aug 2016

Editorial: The Royal College Of Midwives And The British Pregnancy Advice Service

Dr. Pravin Thevathasan

Picture of AuthorCathy Warwick is the Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and Chair of Trustees of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS). She has called for a further liberalisation of the current UK abortion law. She writes in the Guardian (18 May 2016) that the RCM is in favour of decriminalising abortion because the 1967 Abortion Act has "very strict parameters." We will soon be hitting a major landmark: 10 million abortions in the UK since David Steele's 1967 Abortion Act.

She has also stated that “abortion is part of the role of the midwife ...

Writing in the Guardian (22 May 2016), Eve Wiseman writes in support of Warwick and refers to "doing the baby-thing against my will." Quite a courageous decision to use the word "baby" in an article in favour of abortion up to birth. The more experienced Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of BPAS, prefers to write about "rushing home to pass the pregnancy" in the Daily Telegraph ( 17 May 2016).

Writing in the Guardian (18 May 2016), Chitra Ramaswamy observes that "the role of men in all this is conspicuously and dangerously absent." She is surely right. Abortion liberates a certain kind of male while it is the woman who has to bear the trauma. She states that it is the woman "who bears the brunt physically, psychologically and societally of having an abortion"

Warwick and Furedi want us to see abortion as just another surgical procedure. There are not many such procedures that cause physical, psychological and societal trauma in the way abortion does.

The RCM was established in 1881 as the Matron's Aid or Trained Midwives Registration Society, but has existed under its present name since 1947. In 1881, “Vita Donum Dei” was the College's motto, which means "Life is the gift of God".

Euphemisms cannot hide the truth. Life is the gift of God. Under Cathy Warwick’s leadership, midwifery is being pulled far away away from supporting that vision of life.