Doctors could back the total decriminalisation of abortion in a vote later this month.
Delegates of the British Medical Association (BMA), the UK’s foremost doctors’ union, are due to vote on decriminalisation at the group’s annual conference.
Following the vote, the BMA could endorse abortion up to birth as official policy.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have campaigned heavily for a change in the law in recent months.
The Daily Mail reports that senior figures in the BMA are supportive of a more liberal abortion law.
There is also concern that pro-life arguments have not been fairly represented in the lead up to the vote.
Doctors have been handed a 52-page discussion paper which the BMA claims is ‘neutral’.
However, it was written by several pro-abortion doctors and neglects to mention the increasing survival rate of premature babies.
The BMA’s conference begins this weekend and runs until Thursday 29 June.
Earlier this month, the Department for Health released its latest abortion figures for England and Wales.
The figures show that there were 190,406 abortions in 2016, compared to 191,014 the previous year.
Alarmingly, they also show that more than 1,500 girls under the age of consent had an abortion last year.
Following the release of the figures, a spokeswomen for charity Life described the UK’s abortion rate as “a national tragedy”.
Ann Scanlan, Director of Education at Life, said each abortion “represents a personal crisis for a woman and the loss of her child. It is little wonder, that a May 2017 ComRes poll showed that women in the UK want greater restrictions on abortion”.
She added: “The current situation is not ‘progressive’. It reflects a failure to offer real choice to women, and a failure to protect the most vulnerable in society whose lives have been ended through abortion. Women and children deserve better.”
Down’s abortions up
The figures also revealed that more babies with Down’s syndrome were aborted last year than in 2015.
Research by charity Don’t Screen Us Out indicates that Down’s abortions have increased by 46 per cent since 2010.