Pro-life lawyers have given Scotland’s chief medical officer an ultimatum that she must not allow women to take abortion pills at home any longer or they will sue.
Scotland’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) gave the country’s chief doctor, Catherine Calderwood, until Jan. 5 to fulfill their request and threatened to file a lawsuit if she does not comply, according to the Telegraph. “We are writing to you to put you on notice that it is our intention to formally challenge the Regulations should they not be withdrawn within 14 days of the date of this letter. Given the Christmas holidays, we will extend this time limit to Friday, 5 January 2018,” the SPUC wrote.
Calderwood, appointed in March 2015, is Scotland’s chief medical officer, and is responsible for improving the mental and physical wellbeing of people in Scotland.
The lawyers contend that allowing women to medically end their pregnancies at home is not only dangerous but also against the law. Britain’s 1967 Abortion Act posits that abortion is legal if two doctors agree in good faith that continuing the pregnancy presents a risk to the life of the mother. That risk includes physical or mental injury to the mother or the unborn baby.
While the law in theory prevents women from ending their pregnancies simply because they want to, liberal doctors interpret the law such that pregnancy harms a woman who does not want a child. The vast majority of abortions in the United Kingdom are an answer to unwanted pregnancies rather than cases of danger to the mother or child, or cases of severe fetal defects.
The lawyers posit that the Scottish government’s regulations, which allow abortion pills to be taken at home “are unlawful and effectively act to remove the current stringent medical oversight from the process, thereby endangering the lives of women.” They add that letting women take abortion pills when they are not in the presence of a medical professional also jeopardizes their safety, constituting a violation of the 1967 law. They continue to argue that it goes against Calderwood’s duty to safeguard and improve the mental and physical wellbeing of the Scottish people per her post’s description.
“We’ve worked hard to ensure women are always able to access clinically safe services,” a Scottish Government spokesman said in defense of allowing home abortions, the Telegraph reports. Scotland is currently the only part of Britain that allows women to take misoprostol at home.
The ultimatum comes after another top British doctor — president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), Lesley Regan — insisted women should be able to take their abortion pills at home so that the abortion can be calm, comfortable, and stress free. Regan, who is also the head obstetrics and gynecology at a West London hospital, has gone to Britain’s chief scientific adviser to the Department of Health in an attempt to convince the department that her logic is sound. (RELATED: British Doctor Says Women Taking Abortion Pills At Home Is Totally Cool).
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