Jeremy Hunt urged to strip abortion provider of licence after thousands sign petition
7 August 2017
Thousands of pro-life campaigners have signed a petition calling on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to strip Marie Stopes International (MSI) of its abortion licence in the wake of scandalous practices.
Over 16,000 people have backed the call after media investigations revealed MSI - the country’s second largest abortion provider - has been approving thousands of abortions without meeting women, with some discussions of the reason for the abortion lasting as little as 22 seconds.
It was also reported that the organisation has been signing off abortions following short telephone conversations, without the woman seeing the two doctors who authorise the abortion.
Undercover reporters also allege that following a telephone consultation, the official note of the woman’s reason for having the abortion was completely different from what she had said on the phone.
The revelations resulted in a joint initiative by two of the country’s most prominent pro-life groups - the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) and Life Charity - who launched apetition claiming that the practices make a mockery of the law.
Delivering the petition to Mr Hunt’s office in Whitehall today (MONDAY AUGUST 7) Antonia Tully, SPUC’S director of campaigns, said:
"Marie Stopes International has been exposed for behaving shamefully in breach of the law. Mr Hunt has a duty to act to uphold the law and this petition demonstrates the strength of feeling in the court of public opinion. It is about time the Health Secretary referred these scandalous matters to the prosecuting authorities to allow the criminal courts to become involved too.
"The pro-abortion lobby is pushing for decriminalisation of abortion in Britain and in Northern Ireland because they don't care about the impact of abortion on women or refuse to look at what that impact is. We care that women who have an abortion experience mental health problems 30% more often compared with women who give birth. It matters to us that a study has shown that the risk of suicide is approximately six times greater after an abortion than after childbirth."
John Smeaton, chief executive of SPUC, said of recent revelations regarding MSI:
"This is nothing less than a scandal and demonstrates exactly how the abortion industry regularly and without impunity makes a mockery of the law.
"Recent Care Quality Commission reports have detailed very serious criticisms of Marie StopesInternational and the way it runs its business.
"It comes as no surprise to discover that apparently doctors have been approving thousands of abortions without meeting women, with some discussions of the reason for the abortion lasting as little as 22 seconds."
Life chief executive, Stephen Sharpe, said:
"In December last year, the Care Quality Commission uncovered a catalogue of dangerous and illegal practices atMarie Stopes International private abortion clinics.
"In view of such appalling treatment of women, not to mention their continuing callous disregard for unborn children, we are calling on the Secretary of State for Health to withdraw from Marie Stopes International (MSI) the licence to carry out abortions."
SPUC is the world’s longest established pro-life organisation and was founded 50 years ago. Life was set up in 1970 on the principle that it is not enough simply to oppose abortion but that positive alternatives should also be provided.
Mr Smeaton added:
"These revelations come not long after MSI had to suspend abortions after it was condemned by the CQC for putting women at risk by failing to adequately train staff and neglecting to obtain proper consent from the woman.
"MSI was also condemned for throwing the bodies of aborted babies into open bins."
Mr Smeaton added:
"These findings prove there is an inherent lack of care for women on the part of an abortion industry which chases profit, much of it provided by the taxpayer through NHS funds.
"There is clearly a complete disregard both for the law and for human life."
Mr Sharpe said:
"This investigation shows that Marie Stopes International’s promises that they have improved their ‘service’ since the CQC inspection are largely empty. Aside from the CQC statements we need to remind people that two doctors signing off abortions in good faith is a key requirement of the act. The government must move now to revoke the license of this organisation which blatantly flouts the law and is so cavalier with the lives and health of women."
Notes to editors:
For more info, Please contact Dr Anthony McCarthy: firstname.lastname@example.org