UK Doctors Call for Abortion Reform

UK doctors have voted that women should no longer be required to obtain the consent of two doctors in order to have an abortion. Currently, two doctors must agree that continuing the pregnancy poses a greater threat to the woman’s physical or mental health than terminating it. This has been a serious barrier for many women, slowing the process and making it more difficult to obtain abortions in some places. So the proposed change (the law still needs to be altered) is good. Unfortunately, more than this is actually needed to speed things up. As things are now, it is common for women to be approved but still have to wait weeks simply due to NHS waiting lists. Doctors considered increasing the availability of abortions by allowing them to be carried out at GP surgeries and by midwives and nurses, but rejected these ideas. Too bad. More here.

4 thoughts on “UK Doctors Call for Abortion Reform

  1. Removing the consent of one doctor is hardly a major victory. And nor should it be anyway – I am concerned feminism is seen as synonymous with being pro-abortion. Where is our concern for the weak and vulnerable? You can’t tell me a 24-week old foetus is not a human being.

  2. I don’t actually think that all feminists must be pro-choice, although I am. I think a diversity of views is very healthy for feminism. The decision only concerns first trimester abortions, by the way, so 24 week old foetuses are not relevant to it. But it’s worth noting that the pro-choice position is not premised on the view that foetuses are not human beings. For examples of detailed philosophical arguments that do not make this assumption, see e.g. Thomson, ” A Defense of Abortion”; Little, “Abortion, Intimacy, and the Duty to Gestate”. For a good overview, see Shrage, _Abortion and Social Responsibility: Depolarizing the Debate_.

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