Newspaper commentators and a leading Christian ethicist have spoken out against the head of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) for supporting a radical pro-abortion campaign.
RCM Chief Executive Cathy Warwick is backing a British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) campaign to change the law and allow abortion up to birth for any reason.
In addition to her RCM role, Warwick has been chairman of BPAS since 2014 – something Dr Peter Saunders described as a “blatant conflict of interests”.
Dr Saunders, Chief Executive of the Christian Medical Fellowship, said society is judged “by the way it treats its most vulnerable members” – such as unborn babies.
Cathy Warwick, Dr Saunders said, “needs to step down either from the RCM, or BPAS but cannot continue in both positions”.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Jane Shilling said the two organisations had opposing aims.
She added that it was not surprising that the RCM’s “puzzling” stance induced “an immediate response from dissenting midwives, insisting that the RCM did not speak in their name”.
Surplus to requirements
Writing in the Daily Mail, Isabel Oakeshott said BPAS’ idea would have potentially awful implications for both medics and women.
And she asked: “While medics in one part of a hospital battle valiantly to save the life of a much wanted premature baby”, does the RCM head “propose that surgeons on the other side of a curtain scrub up to end the life of a baby at a later stage of gestation, which is perfectly healthy but deemed surplus to requirements?”
Oakeshott called for Warwick to be sacked over the comments.
MP Andrew Percy, who sits on the House of Commons Health Select Committee, also criticised the RCM leader.
He said: “She represents midwives, many of whom will absolutely not agree with this campaign, and she should think very hard about whether or not her position is sustainable.”
Yesterday the RCM stood by its position, stating: “this is not about being for or against abortion”.
“It is about being for women and respecting their choices about their bodies”, a statement added.