Abortion should be treated as a medical treatment:
Britain’s child birth doctors and specialists have requested the ministers to morsel laws pointing to Victorian times that could put a woman in jail for life for having an abortion. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists also known as RCOG voted on Friday to support the growing demand for decriminalisation of abortions in Britain.
Its current ruling council agreed to change the college’s position on the issue that urges the repeal of sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861. These sections means that a woman who has gone through an abortion without getting the legal approval of two doctors or particularly lady doctors – perhaps by buying abortion pills online – could be given a life sentence and the same can be given to the one helping her.
The advocates appointed for changing the law says that if it happened then it would be more symbolic than practical because it would not change the current abortion practice which comes under the Abortion practice act of 1967. A 24- week time limit (legal one) or the approval from two doctors was a must before going for an abortion on all kinds of medical grounds and in the interest of the health of a women.
“We believe the procedure should be subject to regulatory and professional standards, in line with other medical procedures, rather than criminal sanctions.
The council members of RCOG, who represented at the UK’s 11,500 specialists in a maternity care and women’s health strongly defended and backed the motion which said: “The RCOG supports the removal of criminal sanctions associated with abortion in the UK. “We believe the procedure should be subject to regulatory and professional standards, in line with other medical procedures, rather than criminal sanctions.
“All the abortion services should be regulated, However the abortions for women should be treated as a medical treatment rather that considering or making it as a criminal issue”. RCOG is the key medical body which backs the call to demolish those sections of the 1861 legislation.
The Association of British Medical, and the union of all the doctors threw its weight behind decriminalization for the very first time at the annual conference in June. The Royal College of Midwives, which represents the UK’s 48,000 midwives also supported for the switch in February 2016.
As per the RCOG council members, a brief was sent just before the voting, Professor Lesley Regan, the president of college said that it needed to reach an agreed position on decriminalization before the very 50th anniversary of the very famous 1967 act, which legalized the terminations in England, Scotland and Wales, but not Northern Ireland. The date on which it falls is mentioned to be 27th October.
“Presently if a lady or a women ends her pregnancy or go for an abortion without the consent and permission of two doctor, then in that case she can be sentenced to a life time prison. Well the increase in the easy availability of abortion pill in the online market and app has made this scenario more worst in recent times. No other medical service or process in UK is so out of step with all types of clinical and technological advancements and developments,” Regan said.
Most of the doctors criticized the move of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. According to Dr Kiran Eyre, a very profound and renowned member of the BMA south-east coast council said that the decriminalization would prove to be very dangerous and will breach doctor’s ethical duty of not harming the patient or his/her life.
“We all are expected to be protected from the external threats and damages that our body can go under the criminal laws and the potentially sentient fetus should also be awarded similar rights. Decriminalization is a radical step that can never be reconciled with the principle of non-malfeasance as the evidence currently stands,” he said.
“Abortion has always been an undeniably controversial topic but considering about the present , the legal position is a fair compromise in a challenging ethical field. Radically changing our laws, which should strive to protect both the viable fetus and mother, has always been a dangerous step towards how we value human life and how we treat our patients”.