New report: Marie Stopes abortion clinics unsafe and uncaring

One of the UK’s largest abortion providers failed to follow basic safety procedures, a disturbing new report has found.

Shocking evidence, compiled by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), highlights more than 2,600 serious incidents in Marie Stopes clinics last year.

The abortion group, which carries out 70,000 abortions a year in the UK, was forced to suspend certain procedures in August after CQC inspectors raised safety fears.


Last night, the CQC released the full findings of its inspections, leading to accusations that Marie Stopes is putting profits over patient safety.

Doctors in a Norwich clinic were found to have ‘bulk signed’ up to 60 certification forms at a time, showing little indication that they were familiar with the women’s circumstances.

In South London, inadequately trained nurses and healthcare assistants were left to obtain women’s consent for abortions, despite not understanding the procedure themselves and so being unable to answer questions – breaching national guidelines.


In one harrowing case, a woman with learning disabilities was said to have had her child aborted without understanding the procedure or its outcome.

She visited a clinic in the West Midlands alone and became distressed just before the procedure began. Doctors are said to have gone ahead with it anyway and dealt with her “insensitively”.

One clinic was also reported to have dumped foetal remains from successive abortions in an open waste bin.


Responding to the report, Labour MP Robert Flello said: “Women are being railroaded through an industry which gets paid for as many abortions as it can perform.

“Perhaps now the Department of Health will wake up because it has turned a blind eye to things not being done properly.”

A Department of Health spokesman said: “The CQC requirement has made it very clear the actions that need to be taken to make sure care is safe, high-quality and compassionate for all patients. Clearly, Marie Stopes International has fallen short of those standards.”

Continued scrutiny

Interim Managing Director at Marie Stopes UK, Suzanne Ash, claimed that the group has made “considerable changes” since the CQC inspections.

But Professor Edward Baker, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals at the CQC, said the watchdog will “continue to monitor its services very closely”.

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