SPUC court challenge to Scottish home abortions rejected
15 August 2018
SPUC Scotland CEO John Deighan says SPUC's arguments convincingly exposed the unlawfulness of the abortion pill policy.
"We cannot stand idly by whilst such a detrimental measure is implemented in the name of health care."
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) is set to launch an appeal after a judge backed the Scottish Government’s controversial plans to allow DIY abortions at home.
SPUC Scotland filed the legal challenge in January, after Scotland's chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, refused to reverse her decision to authorise the taking of misoprostol (the second stage of a medical abortion) outside a clinical setting.
Now following a two day hearing in May at Edinburgh's Court of Sessions, Lady Wise has ruled that the Scottish Government's move was "not unlawful".
Disappointed but planning next steps
Following the judgement in Dr Calderwood's favour, John Deighan, chief executive of SPUC Scotland said that discussions have already begun with legal representatives as to the next steps. "We are extremely disappointed that our concerns have not been upheld," he said. "We maintain the belief that our arguments convincingly exposed the unlawfulness of the actions taken by the Scottish Government which are in contravention of the law.
"We will give thorough consideration of the judgement but at the forefront of our thoughts is the expectation that we will appeal the decision. We owe it to our supporters who continue to make donations to cover our legal costs."
Trivialising terrible ordeal
The ruling has been welcomed by abortion provider BPAS, and by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, whose pro-abortion president, Lesley Reagan, called for the Health Secretary to allow home abortions in England.
Mr Deighan slammed the Scottish Government's lax attitude towards abortion, saying: "The abortion pill policy trivialises the terrible ordeal that medical abortion inflicts on women and it can now do so in an environment where women self-administer powerful drugs with no proper medical supervision or support."
Blog: Home abortions are dangerous for women - here's ten reasons why
Our position is unchanged
SPUC's challenge rested on two major grounds: firstly, that the home is not an approved place for abortions to take place, and secondly, that the Abortion Act demands the presence of medical, nursing or clinical staff during a procedure. Lady Wise rejected the arguments on both grounds.
"Our position remains the same despite this judgement," continued Mr Deighan. "For the sake of women’s health and the universal right to life we cannot stand idly by whilst such a detrimental measure is implemented in the name of health care."
You can donate to SPUC's work, including this legal challenge, here.
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