Royal College risks ‘squeezing out’ medics who question abortion

Medical students who want to protect unborn children from abortion risk being frozen out of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), The Christian Institute has warned.

A new RCOG report says the College will teach and assess “abortion skills” as part of its core curriculum. However, the report does not mention any provision for conscientious objection.

The Christian Institute cautioned that this could lead to pro-life students being shut out.

Abortion exam

The RCOG says the General Medical Council (GMC) should “review the Undergraduate medical curriculum to include the importance of abortion care to students.

“The RCOG will teach abortion skills as a part of its core curriculum and assess those skills through examination.”

Currently all doctors in the UK must be registered with the GMC. RCOG membership is necessary to progress in a career specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology.


Ciarán Kelly of The Christian Institute criticised the Royal College for “squeezing out pro-life students”.

“RCOG’s ‘Better for women’ document references abortion over 100 times; conscientious objection not once.

“The College risks shutting out pro-life medics. Members should make their concerns known.

“Its report claims to be ‘Better for women’, but the reality is abortion is just the opposite.”

Home abortion

The document also outlines other dramatic changes:

• The Government should “consider allowing” women to take the first drug used to cause a non-surgical abortion at home. The second drug is already allowed to be taken at home.

• Drugs such as the morning-after pill – which can cause abortions – should be available for free to under 18-year-olds.

• Governments throughout the UK “must legislate” to introduce buffer zones around abortion centres.

• Following its publication, RCOG said it was “broadly supportive” of women being able to obtain agreement for abortion pills over Skype.


In 2016, it emerged that fewer than one per cent of trainee obstetricians and gynaecologists were taking advanced training on how to carry out late-term abortions.

Commenting on the figure, John Smeaton, then chief executive of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, suggested that it might “reflect a natural human reluctance amongst trainee obstetricians and gynaecologists to kill babies in the womb”.

Related Resources