Revealed: The senior abortionist behind guidance telling doctors to turn blind eye to illegal abortions

Guidance telling doctors not to report illegal abortions to the police was put together by a group chaired by the Medical Director of abortion giant MSI Reproductive Choices UK it has been revealed.

Dr Jonathan Lord is a leading pro-abortion activist as well as co-chair of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) Abortion Taskforce, which wrote the controversial guidance.

He has been openly supportive of efforts by Labour MPs Stella Creasy and Diana Johnson to fully decriminalise abortion.


Dr Lord has previously courted controversy for lobbying judges in relation to a late-term abortion case – activity condemned by the Court of Appeal, and last year he was referred to the General Medical Council over allegations he had provided “misleading” and “incorrect” information about abortion to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Speaking on BBC Radio Four’s Today Programme, the abortionist said the change to the guidance was because “the trend of women being investigated is rising very sharply”.

Dr Lord denied that this was effectively asking medics to ignore the law, and claimed that “the law itself is causing life-changing harm to women and their families”.

He said medical staff who do report suspected cases of illegal abortions are “simply ignorant in thinking they are doing the right thing”, but are “forgetting their professional responsibilities”.

Abortion on demand

While Dr Lord acknowledged the rise in investigations, he failed to explain this is linked to the introduction of pills-by-post, which allows women to obtain abortion pills without a face-to-face consultation with a doctor.

The law permits women who are less than ten weeks pregnant to have abortions at home, but the lack of oversight from a medical professional means that some women have procured the pills long after the limit, resulting in a number needing medical assistance arising from complications.

In one case, this led to the prosecution and conviction of Carla Foster, who took the pills when her unborn child was around 32-34 weeks. She was given a 28 month sentence, of which only 14 would be spent behind bars. However, she was released after just one month after the Court of Appeal reduced her sentence to 14 months suspended.

Dr Lord said cases such as Foster’s were “deeply distressing”, but failed to mention that MSI Reproductive Choices – formerly Marie Stopes International – had campaigned in favour of the scheme which led to the illegal abortions occurring. Instead, he said “the core problem here is that the law is simply not fit for purpose” and MSI continues to push for abortion on demand.

Rescind pills-by-post

Independent public health consultant Kevin Duffy, a former Director of Marie Stopes International said: “Lord and his collaborators have enabled this increasing number of women using abortion pills later in their pregnancies, beyond the ten-week legal limit.

“Some of the women that he points to as having been investigated and prosecuted, will no doubt have obtained the abortion pills from his own organisation, MSI-RC, using its telemedicine and pills-by-post process.

“There is a remarkably simple and straightforward solution to the trauma caused by the rising number of police investigations – rescind the legal approval for abortion by phone and pills-by-post, reinstate a mandated in-person medical consultation before the abortion pills are prescribed.”

Not interested

The Christian Institute’s Deputy Director Ciarán Kelly said: “Dr Lord appears to be using the lawful investigations of illegal abortions to further his campaign for an abortion free-for-all.

Abortionists seem less interested in women’s safety than they do in making abortion as widely available as possible.

“His organisation pushed for Westminster to approve the dangerous DIY abortion scheme as a ‘temporary measure’ and then campaigned for it to be made permanent.

“We warned that would put women and the unborn in danger. But now that is happening, instead of ending pills by post he wants to take another big step towards complete decriminalisation.

“This will not help women. Instead, it will result in more women taking abortion pills later and later, with many more ending up in hospital suffering complications. Abortionists seem less interested in women’s safety than they do in making abortion as widely available as possible.”

Also see:

Baby feet

Royal College to threaten medics with sanctions for reporting illegal abortions

MPs weaponise Criminal Justice Bill to liberalise abortion laws

More 22-week-old babies surviving after receiving neonatal care

Pro-life campaigner again questioned by police for silent prayer

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