Doctors have called for more help to be offered to women suffering from acute morning sickness, as figures show ten per cent of sufferers opt for an abortion.
New guidance, by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), recommends that medication and counselling be made available to women experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum.
The condition, which famously affected the Duchess of Cambridge, can cause constant vomiting, dehydration, weight loss and depression.
Dr Manjeet Shehmar, lead author of the RCOG guidance, said women suffering from acute morning sickness can face a “challenging time in early pregnancy”, with more severe symptoms likely to “affect their day-to-day quality of life and mental health”.
“Women with persistent nausea”, it states, “can often feel that there is a lack of understanding of their condition, they may be unable to eat healthily, have to take time off work and feel a sense of grief for loss for what they perceive to be a normal pregnancy.
“It is therefore vital that women with this condition are given the right information and support and are made aware of the therapeutic and alternative therapies available to help them cope.”
While the RCOG wants greater support for women suffering from morning sickness, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) and Pregnancy Sickness Support – a group which helps women with morning sickness – have publicly stated that abortion is an acceptable ‘treatment’ for the condition.
A report produced by the groups last year expresses a “firm commitment to straightforward access to compassionate, high quality abortion care”.
It says, “while we wish to see more women offered medication if they want it this should never be in place of abortion if she knows that ending the pregnancy is the right decision for her”.
Earlier this year BPAS launched a campaign to change the law and allow abortion up to birth for any reason.
The campaign wants abortion to be completely decriminalised and calls for the removal of two sections of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act.
Speaking after its launch Peter D Williams, Executive Officer of pro-life group Right to Life, said that the abortion lobby is “out-of-touch” with “science, medicine and public opinion”.
“The idea that abortion is just another medical procedure, and that it should be a free-for-all action outside of public ethical concerns is ludicrous”, he said.
Currently in Great Britain, the legal limit for abortion is 24 weeks, but if the child is disabled abortion is allowed up to term.