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Pressure mounts on Scottish govt to drop abortion interventions

23 February 2018

Polling revealed discontent with plans to allow abortion pills to be taken outside a medical setting. 

Government told to stop meddling in the affairs of other jurisdictions

Following polling which shows that the Scottish government is out of touch with public opinion on abortion, pressure is mounting for the SNP administration to drop its two recent interventions in abortion policy - home abortions and funding abortions for Northern Irish women.

The Catholic Church has called on the government to "stop meddling" in the affairs of other countries and putting lives at risk. 

Out of touch

In a ComRes poll published this week for SPUC Scotland, 67 per cent of respondents said it is not acceptable for the Scottish Government to pay for the travel, accommodation and medical costs of women from Northern Ireland to have an abortion in Scotland. 42 per cent of people said women shouldn’t be given an abortion pill that they can take in their own home, with only 38 per cent agreeing they should. 

Listen to the electorate

"The Scottish public clearly disapproves of the Scottish Government’s decision to fund abortions for women from Northern Ireland and to allow women to take abortion pills at home," Anthony Horan, the director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, said. "These findings reveal stark differences between Scottish Government policy and the views of the public. Perhaps it is about time the government listened to the electorate and did the honourable thing: stop meddling in the affairs of other jurisdictions and stop putting the lives of women and their unborn children at risk."

Dangers of abortion pills

SPUC Scotland is currently preparing to take the Scottish Government to court after launching a judicial review of proposals by the country’s chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood, which would allow women to perform DIY abortions at home.

As well as flouting the 1967 Abortion Act, allowing abortion drugs to be taken outside a medical setting increases the likelihood of complications and the need for subsequent surgical intervention, as this blog explains. Interestingly, the high rate of complications for medical abortions came up in the Irish debate yesterday, when Dr McKenna, former master of the Rotunda hospital, warned that the need to deal with incomplete abortions would increase waiting times for routine gynaecological procedures. "But even by any estimate, 40 per cent of terminations will possibly require surgical intervention, which has a significant resource implication for gynaecological services," he said.

News in brief:

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