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SPUC lodges appeal against abortion pills ruling

6 September 2018


Appeal papers were lodged yesterday at the Edinburgh Court of Session

"We owe it to our supporters who continue to make donations to cover our legal costs." 

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) lodged papers yesterday to appeal a judge's decision to back 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. 

The appeal follows a two day hearing earlier this year at the Court of Session, in Edinburgh, which Lady Wise rejected.

We will fight all the way

Speaking after the papers were lodged in Edinburgh, John Deighan, chief executive of SPUC Scotland said:

"While disappointed by the original decision it was always our intention to fight this case all the way. Our position and beliefs remain the same.

"At the original hearing our arguments convincingly exposed the unlawfulness of the actions taken by the Scottish Government in contravention of the law. After thorough consideration of the judgement and in tandem with legal advice we now appeal the decision.

"We owe it to our supporters who continue to make donations to cover our legal costs."

Compounding abortion trauma

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.

However, of primary concern is how going through the procedure at home will compound the trauma abortion inflicts on women, and render them more vulnerable to coercion.

"The neglect of the damage that abortion has on women is reprehensible and will one day demand an answer as to why it has been allowed to go on so long," Mr Deighan said. "The lax attitude towards abortion has also allowed widespread coercion of women to have abortions.

"Rather than really being about a woman’s choice it has so often become an option which women are pushed towards when their pregnancy is inconvenient to others. So many women will afterwards say that they had no choice other than abortion. This compounds the mental suffering that post-abortive women endure."

Trivialising terrible ordeal

"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," Mr Deighan continued.

"We continue to be alarmed at the Scottish Government’s policies to liberalise abortion, this is hard to square with their other commitments on health and human rights."

You can donate to SPUC's work, including this legal challenge, here.

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Comments (2)

  • ray dean

    17 September 2018, 10:19am

    You will lose the case in the same way that you lost the Glasgow Midwives case - are you using the same lawyers?
    The Crown will argue that what takes place after the taking of the second drug is not an "abortion" - as the "killing" (termination) of the unborn child takes place in the abortion clinic .

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  • ray dean

    24 September 2018, 10:15am

    Interesting - no reply from John Deighan...

    [EDITOR'S NOTE: The comments feature of the website provides a space for commenting on news articles and blogs, and moderated discussion between website visitors. Thank you for taking the time to use it. If you would like to contact SPUC directly, please use one of our contact channels].

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