BY Ian Dunn | December 22 2017 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

1-ABORTION

Pro-life plans for legal action over abortion pill

Scotland’s leading pro-life group has begun legal action in an attempt to stop the Scottish Government allowing women to take the abortion pill at home

Lawyers acting for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) Scotland have written to Dr Catherine Calderwood, the country’s chief medical officer, saying that if there is no change before January 5 they will start proceedings.

They claim the change is ‘unlawful’ as the 1967 Abortion Act lays down specific rules for places where procedures can take place and their legal advice states that it ‘was not intended to allow abortions to take place at home.’

Specifically, they claimed that the move ‘is not consistent’ with the legislation’s requirement that medical, nursing or clinical staff must be present.

SPUC Scotland said it plans to take court action after receiving a detailed legal opinion from a senior advocate stating the group has ‘good prospects of success.’

Its threat comes after SNP ministers announced in October that Scotland will become the first part of the UK to allow women to take the drug misoprostol outside a clinical setting.

The letter to Dr Calderwood states that the Scottish Government regulations allowing misoprostol to be taken at home ‘are unlawful and effectively act to remove the current stringent medical oversight from the process, thereby endangering the lives of women.’

It warns: “We are writing to you to put you on notice that it is our intention to formally challenge the regulations should they not be withdrawn within 14 days of the date of this letter. Given the Christmas holidays, we will extend this time limit to Friday January 5, 2018.”

Failure to comply by noon that day will lead to legal action ‘without further notice,’ it states.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We’ve worked hard to ensure women are always able to access clinically safe services. Scotland is the only part of the UK to offer women the opportunity to take misoprostol at home, when this is clinically appropriate, a decision that allows women to be in control of their treatment and as comfortable as possible during this procedure.”

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