Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 67(4) November 2017


“Don’t Speak For Me.” BMA and RCOG Line Up to Advocate for Decriminalisation of Abortion.

We reported in the August Quarterly upon the BMA vote to change its policy to support the decriminalisation of abortion. Sadly, we report that the Royal College of Gynaecologists council decided to change College policy in the same way.

SPUC news reports that over 600 doctors signed an open letter to Professor Lesley Regan, President of the RCOG, protesting her announcement last weekend to hold a vote of the General Council on supporting removing all restrictions to abortion. SPUC said that “The RCOG represents 6,000 senior doctors in England specialising in childbirth and women's health, but only 33 members of the body's council will take part in the behind-closed-doors ballot.

The letter, entitled “Don't Speak for Me,” protests the extreme position being forced upon members of the RCOG, and says: "It is completely unacceptable that all members of the RCOG have not been given the opportunity to vote on this significant change in policy and you have refused to release the wording of the motion until after the General Council have voted on this motion."

"Getting your bunions sorted" a deeply offensive comment

Prof Regan caused outrage when she likened abortion to "getting your bunions sorted". The letter, signed by 650 medical professionals was delivered this morning, and highlights how out of step the decriminalisation agenda is with the public.

Fetus in handDr John Etherton, a GP and RCOG member from Lewes, East Sussex, told the Daily Mail that the move would "open up the gate for easy abortion up to birth." He added: "It sounds very benign to say let's decriminalise a procedure, it sounds acceptable, but the immediate implications are that it opens the gate for infanticide. That's very clear."

In a very short timescale the CMA worked hard to support the don’t speak for me letter. In August the CMA said:

  • Decriminalisation only increases 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 being intimately involved in over 8 million abortions, it is hardly surprising that some 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.

Dr Adrian Treloar