Doctors have voted to campaign for the decriminalisation of abortion for any reason, up to 28 weeks.
Earlier today, the British Medical Association (BMA) conference voted by around two-thirds to a third in favour of the change. In Great Britain, abortions generally can take place up to 24 weeks.
The group Reject Motion 50 said it was “ashamed of the BMA for such a regressive move”.
— Reject Motion 50 (@rejectmotion50) June 27, 2017
In total, there have been nearly 9 million abortions in Great Britain since the 1967 Act was passed.
Last month, a poll found that only one per cent of respondents support the abortion limit being raised to birth – something being pushed for by one of Britain’s largest abortion providers, BPAS.
Around 1,500 doctors and medical students opposed to the changes said in the days leading up to the vote that pro-abortion campaigners should not be allowed to “impose their agenda on the BMA and risk severely damaging our reputation as a professional body”.
John Campbell, Professor of General Practice and Primary Care at the University of Exeter Medical School, expressed his concerns in today’s Daily Mail.
Prof Campbell said: “To treat abortion as a lifestyle choice is wrong. To extend the abortion limit is wrong. And for the medical profession to attempt this when almost the whole of the public oppose it is the most destructive course of action imaginable.”
Dr Peter Saunders, CEO of Christian Medical Fellowship, added: “This decision defies common sense and will dismay thousands of ordinary doctors and nurses.”
Pro-life MP Fiona Bruce also voiced her opposition to the motion by highlighting a recent poll which shows that an overwhelming majority of women want the abortion limit lowered in Great Britain.
“Instead of listening to lobby groups, the BMA should be listening to British women, 70 per cent of whom want the abortion time limit to be lowered from the current 24 weeks limit – one of the highest in the Western world.”
After the vote, Dr Clare Gerada, former leader of the Royal College of GPs, who is also a trustee of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, told the BBC: “The BMA doesn’t make law, but the BMA is a very powerful voice for doctors and it’s a very powerful voice for people of this country.”
Last week, it was reported that pro-life views have not been well represented in the lead up to the BMA’s vote.
Doctors had 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.