Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 67(3) August 2017

Abortion and the BMA

BabyIn June the BMA voted at its Annual Representative Meeting to change its policy on abortion in favour of decriminalisation. This is another unfortunate step. There were some excellent speeches against decriminalisation by young female doctors which can heard at Sadly, those speeches did not carry the day with the representatives at the ARM.

“To regard the unborn child in utero as being different to the same child after birth simply does not make sense.
Why can’t people see this?!!”

It seems to us that to regard the unborn child in utero as being different to the same child after birth simply does not make sense.

Asked for comment the CMA said

  • Decriminalisation can only increase the vulnerability of unborn children and their mothers.
  •  Decriminalisation aims to enable access to abortion by removing safeguards. Given how often women suffer after abortion, decriminalisation will further increase risks of harm to women.
  • Decriminalisation is bound to make sex selective abortion legal which means that babies will be legally aborted just because they are female.
  • We have to allow women to see the beauty and humanity of the unborn child
  • After 50 years of of being intimately involved in over 8 million abortions, it is hardly surprising that doctors want to think that abortion should not be a crime. And yet it remains absolutely clear that each and every abortion destroys at least one life.

The Medical Ethics Alliance said

  • “The BMA in voting for the decriminalisation of a abortion, are seeking to protect doctors from prosecution as most abortions today would not stand up to legal scrutiny.
  • The MEA, in its conference at the Royal Society of Medicine, answered the question, "Mental Health Reasons for Abortions - Are there any?" in the negative.
  • No recognised mental health enquiries are carried out, and no psychological records kept. Citing mental health reasons is bogus and little more than a tick box exercise.

We will be working hard on this issue in the coming months, but ask all our members to do all they can to try and stop moves in Parliament and elsewhere to change the law. Some are calling for resignations from the BMA. That would certainly be right and proper, but others are concerned that doing so finally removes pro-life forces from the union.