Wednesday 6 February 2013

Doctors are not breaking the law. They are caring for their patients.

Below is a copy of our letter to The Times' Editor that was in today's print edition and can be found on The Times website (behind the paywall) here. The letter is in response to a piece published in The Times by the BBC journalist Victoria Derbyshire about abortion law in the UK.

Victoria Derbyshire states that the abortion law is "being circumvented or broken" when doctors in England provide abortion to a patients who requests the termination of an unwanted pregnancy ("Our two-tier abortion law is failing women", Opinion, Feb 4). She is wrong. Ground C of the Abortion Act allows an abortion when two doctors agree that "the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant women." Pregnancy and childbirth are not risk-free, especially when the pregnancy is unwanted to the point that the woman prefers to end it in abortion. Many doctors believe "in good faith" that an abortion procedure carries less risk to the woman than would its denial. Such doctors are not circumventing or breaking the law; they are complying with the law, exercising their clinical judgment and caring for their patients.

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