By Hilary White

LONDON, December 6, 2007 ( – The British government has proposed a scheme to turn every General Practitioner’s (family doctor) office in the country into an abortion facility. The Department of Health (DoH) said trials to test “safety and effectiveness” of GP’s supervising “medical” or drug-induced abortions are already underway at two undisclosed locations.

If the scheme goes ahead, all British GP surgeries will be authorized to prescribe the deadly abortion drug RU-486 up to the ninth week of pregnancy. The tablets could be given by either a physician or a nurse.

The DoH said in a statement, “The evaluation will be complete in the New Year and we will consider the results carefully before reaching a decision.”

Currently, the abortion pill is responsible for 30 per cent of British abortions. 80 per cent of abortions in Britain are committed in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

In October, the Commons Science and Technology Committee recommended that nurses be allowed to abort children and called for the abolition of the rule requiring two doctors to sign approval for abortions. The Committee was heavily criticised by two of its own members for heavily weighting the panels with pro-abortion witnesses.

Tory Committee member Bob Spink told the BBC pregnant women should have more support and said abortion-related decisions should wait until the issues have been properly debated in the House of Commons.

This opinion was backed by Anthony Ozimic of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children who said the scheme will add to the already considerable pressure women experience in crisis pregnancies. He called it another advance of “conveyor-belt abortion” that “gives women less time to think and creates even more pressure on them before having an abortion.”

“Like many abortion-related policies,” he said, “this move trivialises or ignores a significant body of medical opinion and human experience which shows that abortion carries risks for women.”

Ozimic pointed also to possible threats to the opt-out that allows British doctors to refuse to abort children. “It is an attack on conscientious objection, trying to wear down the medical profession’s increasing resistance to abortion.”

“What is permitted today,” he added, “may become mandatory tomorrow.”

In May this year, a poll showed that at least a fifth of British GP’s wanted abortion to be more restricted and nearly a quarter refuse to refer women for abortions. 24 per cent of GPs would not sign referral forms for an abortion and 19 per cent believe abortion should be illegal.

A recent survey found that 70 per cent of Primary Care Trusts said they would be prepared to threaten a pharmacist’s license if they refused to provide the abortifacient morning-after pill to minors without parental consent.

Meanwhile, an amendment to the government’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill has been tabled in the House of Lords that proposes to remove “foetal abnormality” as a ground for abortion. Baroness Masham of Ilton, who is disabled, proposed the amendment on the grounds that killing such children in the womb amounts to discrimination against the disabled. Under the current law, children with even suspected “foetal abnormalities” may be killed up to full gestation. The time limit for able-bodied babies is 24 weeks.

Read related coverage:

UK Committee Recommends RU-486 and Scrapping Two Doctor Requirement for Abortion

UK Commons Committee on Abortion Restrictions Heavily Biased in Favour of Abortion

UK Reproductive Tech Bill Allows Much More Than Human/Animal Hybrids