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Royal college admits abortion unlawful in N. Ireland but in denial over harm to women

23 November 2011

Royal college admits abortion unlawful in N. Ireland but in denial over harm to women Belfast, 23 November 2011: The Northern Ireland arm of a leading UK pro-life group has accused the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) of being in denial over the damage abortion can do to women.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), the world's first pro-life lobbying and educational organisation, founded in 1967 to oppose the Abortion Act, was responding to the new guideline on abortion issued today by the RCOG (see note 1 for editors below).

Liam Gibson, SPUC's Northern Ireland development officer, said that while the RCOG has finally acknowledged that abortion in the Province is not lawful unless to save the life of the mother (note 2), it has continued to ignore the evidence that abortion can cause serious physical and psychological harm to women (note 3) and families.

Mr Gibson said: “In the past the RCOG has consistently misrepresented the law in Northern Ireland. The RCOG has corrected this mistake but it is still blinded by its ideological commitment to promote abortion regardless of the evidence. There has never been one scientifically proven medical benefit to abortion but literally hundreds of studies linking it to a range of physical and emotional problems. “A recent study (note 4) published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that women who had a abortion experienced an 81 per cent increased risk of mental health problems. The study also found that almost 10 percent of all women’s mental health problems are directly related to abortion. It is becoming harder to dismiss a growing body of evidence of the damage done by abortion. “The RCOG guidance calls on doctors ‘to emphasise the overall safety of the procedure’ when discussing abortion with women (note 5). Sadly abortion is never safe for an unborn child and the damage it causes is a daily reality for countless women struggling to cope with its after-effects. It is simply not good enough for the medical profession to dismiss without concern the suffering of so many women”, concluded Mr Gibson.

Liam Gibson, SPUC's Northern Ireland development officer, can be contacted on 07984 990688 or 028 9077 8018 or liamgibson@spuc.org.uk http://www.spuc.org.uk/ Notes for editors: 1) "The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion. Evidence-based Clinical Guideline Number 7", Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), London, November 2011 2) Guideline, 3.1. 3) Guideline, 5.13. 4) Coleman, Priscilla K. Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995-2009, BJP 2011,199:180-186. 5) Guideline, 5.2.


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