Interesting about the spirit and letter of the law on abortion

“I completely understand the law doesn’t require the doctor to have met the woman concerned, but to pre-sign certificates when you don’t even know which woman it relates to and there hasn’t been an assessment, is completely contrary to the spirit and letter of the law.”

He added that action would be taken within days. “We’re dealing with all this quickly,” Mr Lansley said. “If there is evidence of an offence we will give it directly to the police.”

The Health Secretary said pre-signing forms “constitutes a criminal offence” and could also lead to doctors being struck off by the General Medical Council.

Mr Lansley warned that so-called abortion on demand was not acceptable. “It’s not what Parliament intended and it’s not what the law provides for,” he said. “My job is to enforce the law.”

We do not, in the legal sense, have abortion on demand. We do, in the practical sense, have abortion on demand. No woman under 20 weeks pregnant is going to be unable to get an abortion (outside NI of course) if that\’s what she wishes.

So those campaigners who get outraged about the breach of either the letter or spirit of the law on other matters are going to get similarly outraged about this.

Yes?

2 comments on “Interesting about the spirit and letter of the law on abortion

  1. No doubt the defence will argue about interpretation of the law.

    But the Abortion Act took up nearly as much time as the hunting bill.
    If parliament can’t draft an act that expresses its will clearly then it might as well not make laws at all.

  2. “I completely understand the law doesn’t require the doctor to have met the woman concerned, but to pre-sign certificates when you don’t even know which woman it relates to and there hasn’t been an assessment, is completely contrary to the spirit and letter of the law.”

    No it isn’t. Here is the letter of the law:

    ” if two registered medical practitioners are of the opinion, formed in good faith [… ] (c) that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated”

    Since an early term abortion is at least an order of magnitude safer for the pregnant woman, than carrying to term (and pretty much every medical practictioner on the planet knows it, or should do) there is no need for anyone to meet the woman involved to know that this condition is met.

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