The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has called for the resignation of Britain’s leading maternity doctor following her appeal for women to have access to home abortions, writes Alex Daniel.
SPUC accused Professor Lesley Regan, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, of abusing her position of power. In an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper, Professor Regan said that women should be allowed to take abortion pills at home. At present, women seeking a termination in the first nine weeks of pregnancy can take two sets of medication 24 to 48 hours apart in a clinical setting. Professor Regan said that women should have access to the second round of the drug – Misoprostol – at home so that they don’t miscarry on journeys to and from the clinic.
Antonia Tully, campaigns director at SPUC, said Professor Regan was “showing a callous disregard for the mental and physical welfare of women”, adding: “This [proposal] means that many vulnerable women, who may be desperate about the situation they are in, will be on their own with no medical supervision, taking drugs powerful enough to destroy their unborn baby.”
In the interview, Professor Regan, who is based at St Mary’s Hospital in west London, told the newspaper that currently women are at risk of having an abortion that is not carried through in “a composed, calm way”.
In October Scotland’s chief medical officer announced that women can take the abortion pill at home, prompting Scottish bishops to accuse the Holyrood parliament of taking a stance that is “immoral” and “in conflict with public opinion”. In November, the bishops wrote to Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, calling for further dialogue on abortion.
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