Published: 2nd April 2020
The Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF), representing 5,000 UK doctors, nurses and midwives, issued the warning after the Department for Health announced (after several days of conflicting and confused communications) that it would allow women in England to carry out an abortion at home, using the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol after a single telephone or online consultation, up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. Previously abortions had to be authorised by two doctors and overseen by doctors or nurses at a registered clinic or hospital.
The procedures are not risk-free, and will put women at risk of complications, such as infection, excessive bleeding, requiring later surgical intervention, continuation of the pregnancy and the distress of unexpectedly delivering a recognisable fetus alone at home. Removing professional oversight such as ultrasound scanning also leaves the way open for further abuse as there is no way of independently verifying the dates of a pregnancy.
Dr Mark Pickering, Chief Executive of CMF commented: 'This change, which has been pushed for by the abortion industry for some time, seeks to perpetuate the lie that first-trimester abortions are risk-free - they are not. Complications even under medical supervision are well documented and should not be ignored or minimised. This is why governments of all colours have consistently rejected this change and why the NHS lists the possible risks on their website and in-patient literature.
'Requiring two doctors to approve an abortion acts as important safeguard against a mother being coerced to end the life of her unborn baby, and to ensure that women understand the ramifications of the termination. While we understand that many unprecedented measures are being taken during the COVID-19 crisis, removing medical supervision and important safeguards from abortions is a step too far.
'We urge the Government to be extremely cautious, continuing to recognise that abortion is a serious procedure, both medically and ethically. Proper supervision is essential to protect the health of women and in some cases the baby. This change, which has been introduced under great pressure and at speed without any parliamentary scrutiny, conceals the underlying agenda of the abortion industry to establish a new normal for when the COVID-19 crisis has passed.
'The Health Minister, Lord Bethell, stated on 25 March, 'there are long-established arrangements in place for doctors to certify and perform abortions, and they are there for good reason.... It is not right to rush through this type of change in a sensitive area such as abortion without adequate parliamentary scrutiny.' We commend his words and urge the government not to forget them. The ethics of emergency must not become the politics of peacetime.'
For media inquiries, please contact Alistair Thompson on 07970 162225.
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.