Doctors to vote on legalising abortion for any reason up to birth

The British Medical Association (BMA) will vote later this month on whether to call for abortion to be legal for any reason up to birth.
The move by the UK’s most prominent doctors’ union comes after Members of Parliament voted in favour of decriminalisation of the procedure in March, although the vote was largely symbolic and no further progress was made.

If the 500 doctors who attend the BMA gathering vote in favour, they could begin pushing for a change in the law. This would, however, be in stark contrast to the views of the British public, the vast majority of whom want to see a reduction in the time limit.

The results of a ComRes poll released on Sunday 21 May shows that most people (60%) would like to see time limits for abortions reduced. Perhaps most interestingly, the figure is 70% among women. ComRes interviewed 2,008 British adults online between 12th and 14th May 2017 and the data was weighted to be representative of all British adults.

In Scotland, 61% of respondents opposed any moves towards making it mandatory for doctors to have to participate in abortion procedures against their will, while 51% oppose moves to compel pharmacists to prescribe a pill against their will, if they believe that pill will end the life of an unborn child.

The poll also showed overwhelming support (76%) for the proposal that doctors, should “verify in person that a patient seeking an abortion is not under pressure from a third party to undergo the abortion”. A total of 65% of respondents oppose tax-payer money being spent on abortions overseas, while 82% of Scots believe that the law should require a waiting period of five days between an initial consultation with a doctor and an abortion taking place, in order to ensure that the mother has had enough time to consider all of the options available to her.