BY Staff Reporter | September 25 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

9-BISHOP-KEENAN

Bishop warns of ‘concerted campaign’ against unborn as leading medical college votes to decriminalise abortion

Bishop John Keenan of Paisley has warned there is a ‘concerted’ campaign against the unborn child, after one of the UK’s top medical colleges voted to decriminalise abortion.

Hundreds of doctors have also rebelled against the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), signing a letter highlighting their anger over the vote.

“There seems to me here like an orchestrated and concerted campaign against the unborn and I pray for those good medics seeking to resist it,” said Bishop Keenan. “Could I suggest our own concerted effort in October to pray the Rosary for an end to abortion?”

The college voted to endorse the decriminalisation of abortion in England and Wales, however only 33 members of the RCOG council voted on the decision, despite its 6,000 organisation.

650 doctors condemned the decision, signing a letter to RCOG head Professor Lesley Regan, who believes that abortion should be treated as a medical issue and not a criminal one.

The letter rejects her ‘extreme’ views and criticises the decision to not allow members a vote on the issue.

“We represent a variety of positions on the issue of abortion,but believe this motion is out of keeping with both our duties as responsible professionals and the expressed wishes of the British women with regards to the legality and regulation of abortion,” they said. “This move to introduce a radical abortion law is being promoted by a small group of campaigners with extreme views on abortion.”

It also notes that although council members are entitled to their own views, that these should not be ‘imposed’ on the RCOG and ‘risk severely damaging its reputation as a professional body.’

As a result of the vote, the council agreed to change the RCOG’s neutral stance to one that promotes a repeal of sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861, which state that a woman who has an abortion without the legal approval of two doctors could be handed as a life sentence, as well as anyone helping her.

Under current UK law, abortions in England and Wales are illegal unless agreed upon by two doctors that the pregnancy could be a risk to the physical or mental wellbeing of the mother.

RCOG is the third major medical body to support the eradication of sections 58 and 59, after the British Medical Association (BMA) backed the move in June, while the Royal College of Midwives has supported the change since February last year.

“It is disgraceful that a mere handful of RCOG representatives have agreed to support the removal of all legal safeguards associated with abortion,” said CEO of SPUC Scotland, John Deighan. “Indeed, this dangerous move by the RCOG means that a mother could have an abortion and for any reason up to the seventh month of pregnancy, and potentially up to birth if the Infant Life Preservation Act were also to be scrapped.

“The vote exposes the extent to which a determined minority has betrayed the fundamental calling of health workers, which is to serve life.

“Our nation needs to waken up to the barbarous system which is practised in our land under a cloak of obscurity.”

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