Abortion can never been seen as “wrong”, and the rights of the unborn child should not be a consideration, the leader of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has said.
Cathy Warwick spoke out after a week of fierce criticism over the RCM’s backing of a campaign to allow abortion up to birth for any reason. Britain’s largest single abortion provider, BPAS, is leading the campaign.
Warwick has also been under fire because she is the Chairman of BPAS alongside being Chief Executive of the RCM.
In an interview with The Telegraph, she denied any right of the unborn child in questions around abortion: “The woman is the person who has rights within the framework that we currently practise in and I think we have to focus on the woman.”
Warwick was also asked if there are any times when an abortion could be seen as wrong.
“Well, I would say no”, she said.
Loose as possible
Abortion should be seen as part of the “family planning jigsaw”, she added, and claimed that the medical profession is interpreting the abortion law “almost as loosely as possible”.
Last week, the Daily Mail uncovered previous comments by Warwick that midwives should be challenged to change their attitude from focusing on delivering babies.
Speaking at a Royal Society of Medicine conference in June 2015, and in comments seemingly directed at those not keen to be involved in abortion, she said: “In a sense midwives have removed themselves from this arena and have a focus on, ‘The woman is going to come out with a baby'”.
She added that there is a need to “think about how we engage organisations like the one I represent in perhaps changing some of the attitudes and perspectives”.
Last week, official figures from 2015 showed there were over 185,000 abortions for residents of England and Wales in 2015.
Almost 700 babies were aborted because they had Down Syndrome and eleven because they had a cleft lip or palate.
In February last year, Fiona Bruce MP sought to make sex-selective abortion explicitly illegal, but MPs rejected the efforts by 292 to 201 votes.
Rani Bilkhu, a long-time campaigner on the issue, described the result as “an insult to the women we work with who have suffered under the burden of sex-selective abortion”.
The Christian Institute has told the stories of people affected by abortion in our Choose Life series.