Published: 5th September 2013
The Christian Medical Fellowship has said that the failure of the Crown Prosecution Service to take action in recent cases of sex selection abortions and pre-signing of abortion forms raises serious questions about its role in upholding the law.
The CPS has this week opted to take no further action in regard to two named doctors who sought to authorise abortions on grounds of sex selection last year. In a letter to Christian Medical Fellowship the Metropolitan Police have said that, although there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction, the CPS say it is not in the public interest to prosecute.
With regard to doctors at 14 NHS Trusts who pre-signed abortion forms authorising abortions for women they had not actually seen, the CPS has also opted not to act on grounds that 'the practice of pre-signing has clearly evolved over a number of years', is 'clearly widespread' and may well be due to 'clinical pressures' or 'good intention'.
Dr Peter Saunders, CEO of CMF commented, 'Authorising abortions purely on grounds of sex selection and pre-signing abortion authorisation forms are both flagrant breaches of the provisions of the Abortion Act.'
'The unwillingness of the CPS to act in these cases after an investigation spanning 18 months is quite extraordinary. It sends a strong signal that sex selection abortions are now effectively legal in Britain, rubber stamps the practice of pre-signing and gives a green light to doctors to interpret the abortion law as they see fit in the knowledge that the authorities will turn a blind eye.'
'Knowingly and wilfully making false statements on statutory documents – which is what abortion authorisation forms are – is actually a form of perjury. But we seem to have reached a point where, at the whim of the CPS, clear statutory procedures can be disregarded by doctors and NHS Trusts without any fear of legal repercussions.'
'This puts doctors above the law and raises serious questions about the role of the CPS in upholding the will of parliament.'
'The matter calls for urgent investigation and the public deserves a full explanation as to why acts in blatant breach of the law are being tolerated by the CPS in this way. We are seeking legal advice over the matter.'
Philippa Taylor (CMF Head of Public Policy) 020 7234 9664
Steven Fouch (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9668
Alistair Thompson on 07970 162 225
Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 5,000 doctors, 900medical and nursing students and 300 nurses and midwives as members in all branches of medicine, nursing and midwifery. A registered charity, it is linked to over 100 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.
CMF exists to unite Christian healthcare professionals to pursue the highest ethical standards in Christian and professional life and to increase faith in Christ and acceptance of his ethical teaching.