SPUC concerned at secret under age abortions
5 July 2006
SPUC concerned at secret under-age abortions London, 5 July 2006 - The Society for the Protection for Unborn Children (SPUC) has commented on newly-published government statistics on abortions performed last year in England and Wales, and has accused the government of threatening doctors with punitive action if they do not make access to abortion easy. John Smeaton, SPUC's national director, said: "The number of abortions on girls under 15 who were resident in England and Wales rose by nearly five percent from 1,034 in 2004 to 1,083 last year. It is shameful that the government should promote secret abortions for girls under the age of consent and insist that their parents aren't told. The government is exposing under-age children to being abused. "There is massive government pressure to promote easy access to abortion and much pressure on doctors to comply. Government guidance includes a thinly-veiled warning of severe punitive action against health care professionals who break a strict code of secrecy concerning abortions for children who are under 16-years old. The Department of Health wrongly claims that health professionals are required by law and by their professional code of conduct to provide children under the age of 16 the same confidentiality as people over the age of 16. "The government has insisted that doctors whose conscience will not allow them to provide abortion must refer their pregnant patients to doctors who do provide abortion. This requirement means that doctors are denied the right to exercise their conscience which tells them that there are two patients in every pregnancy - the mother and her unborn child."