Aw, diddums, being an abortionist is becoming unfashionable

A new generation of guardian.co.uk on Doctors\" href=\"http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/doctors\">doctors will be put off from becoming involved in abortion services by high-profile protest campaigns and a political \”witch-hunt\”, providers fear.

The current climate is already causing anxiety among doctors who are concerned that their practice will be called into question, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) said, as activists behind a new campaign to demonstrate outside abortion clinics were joined at one protest in London by a Catholic bishop.

The warning comes as the BPAS and pro-choice campaigners say they feel \”under siege\” after the government ordered an unannounced inspection of more than 250 clinics in England, claiming as many as a fifth were pre-signing consent forms for terminations. The inspections by officials from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) were said to have found evidence of blank forms being signed in anticipation of women seeking a termination. Although doctors do not have to see the woman in person, they must certify that they are aware of her circumstances and why she wants to go ahead with the procedure.

A spokesperson for the BPAS said: \”Abortion is a vital yet stigmatised area of women\’s healthcare which few doctors train in. The current politicisation of abortion provision is likely to make it even harder to recruit a future generation of abortion doctors who are prepared to provide the care that a third of women will need in the course of their lifetimes.\”

Sorry folks but the legality of abortion does not over ride everyones\’, or even anyones\’, ability to approve of, tolerate or disapprove of those who have them or those who perform them.

Just as the legality of adultery leaves us all with our own opinions of swingers\’ parties and even the people who organise them.

My suspicion is that this whining is more related to the opt out available to medical students than anything else. With an increasing fraction of the medical profession being Moslem (and the theological Moslem objection to abortion is roughly the same as the Catholic one) there are stories that such opts outs, the refusal to even consider training to take part, is rising. Which could indeed lead to a \”problem\”, that abortion is legal but that there aren\’t many people willing to actually perform one.

I really wouldn\’t be surprised at all if this was the start of a campaign to remove that opt out.

 

10 comments on “Aw, diddums, being an abortionist is becoming unfashionable

  1. “Which could indeed lead to a “problem”, that abortion is legal but that there aren’t many people willing to actually perform one.”

    This is the de facto situation in America. Luckily, so to speak, you don’t need many willing to do it to meet the demand.

    A relative of mine who was interviewed for a place in a medical course was specifically asked about abortion. He does not have any special religious objection but admitted to being a little hesitant. He was not offered a place. I am sure it was for good reason.

  2. IanB (#5), I seem to remember that 1 in 3 pregnancies ends in abortion.

    Since some women don’t get pregnant, and some have more than one abortion, it’s possible that also 1 in 3 women has an abortion.

  3. If it really is the start of a campaign to remove the opt-out, think about the implications of this for a moment.

    It effectively means that the state is saying that Catholics, Muslims and anyone else having a conscientious objection to abortion cannot become a doctor.

    And where next after that? Removal of conscientious objection to war?

    I suspect that the real worry here is that the inspections will show that some abortion clinics are breaching the law and that, in effect, they have been providing abortion on demand while politely maintaining the fiction that 2 doctors can attest to blah blah whatever the test are under the legislation.

    Personally, I’d have thought that a doctor would need to meet a woman to assess whether or not she falls within the scope of the law.

    But any attempt to remove the opt out would be a profoundly illiberal one, propagated by those who have no understanding for the concept of “live and let live”.

  4. Do you think doctors and nurses should be free to opt out of involvement in any treatment they have a religious objection to? Or are terminations special in that respect?

    According to the data I just googled for terminations and live births, the proportion of terminations would be 1 in 5 if one excludes miscarriages from the calculation.

  5. I think anyone should be free to opt out of anything they find sufficiently objectionable. That may make them unfit for a particular employment. The market will sort that out.

  6. If the picketers are causing a nuisance or harrassing staff/patients then a clinic would arguably have a claim for unlawful interference with their business, and sue the picketers for the loss of business.

    It’s a little macarbre – to say “were it not for you, we would be making more money by aborting more babies” – but may be a line of defence to prevent said protests outside the door of the clinic.

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