The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) have voted to back abortion on demand, despite a revolt from members.
On Friday, RCOG’s leaders voted behind closed doors to back the decriminalisation of abortion at any stage in pregnancy.
The vote ignored the concerns of more than 650 doctors.
The medics signed a letter objecting to RCOG President Professor Lesley Regan’s “extreme stance” on abortion and protesting at their lack of involvement in the decision.
The RCOG claims it is not advocating a change to the 24-week limit on abortions, but says that all abortions should be regulated by the profession, rather than criminal law.
This means that doctors who perform abortions after the limit would not face criminal sanctions, effectively legalising late-term abortions.
It will now lobby the Government to decriminalise abortions, mimicking the stance of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, who started a campaign in February 2016.
Dr Peter Saunders of the Christian Medical Fellowship warned the Government not to bow to pressure from campaigners regarding the legalisation of abortion.
He said: “It is parliament’s decision whether or not it should be changed – and they should be very wary of the vested ideological and other vested interests of professional groups (which are behaving like campaign groups)”.
Last week Professor Regan caused controversy when she claimed having an abortion should be treated no differently to minor procedures, such as removing a bunion.
Her comments were slammed by Clara Campbell of pro-life charity Life, who said: “In the last two years we have seen scandalous health and safety failures at abortion clinics.
“Imagine what will happen when there are no laws on abortions and just a system of toothless regulations with no threat of criminal sanctions.
“We urge parliament not to be pressured by the abortion industry and its allies and to act to protect the interest of vulnerable women and their unborn children.”