April 17, 2019 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) — The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) today released draft abortion guidance which encourages services to rush women through the abortion process with little medical supervision.
The guidance drawn up by NICE, a public body of the Department of Health, states that it 'aims to make it easier for women to access a termination' and suggests a range of unsettling proposals including self-referral and video call abortion consultation. The official draft guidelines:
· Aim to make information about termination of pregnancy services widely available.
· Aim to remove consultation with a GP and invite women to self-refer directly to an abortion clinic.
· Aim to ensure that abortions are carried out within 1 week of assessment.
· Advise for abortion consultations to be carried out over telephone or video call.
· Encourage health-care professionals to tell women that a termination will not 'increase their risk of long-term health problems' physical or mental.
· Provide no routine follow-up appointment for women who take abortion drugs to expel their unborn child at home instead of at a hospital or clinic.
· Increase funding for travel and accommodation for women who wish to have an abortion but do not increase funding and support for women who wish to continue with their pregnancy.
· Consider providing abortion services in a range of settings including 'in the community'.
· Do not require women to have counselling or any time for reflection before an abortion.
· Aims to decrease the role of doctors and increase the role of nurses and midwives.
A reckless approach
The draft guidelines embody a reckless approach that would see women rushed through the abortion process with little supervision or support. Specific guidelines also appear to be hugely misleading. To claim that a termination will not 'increase risk of long-term health problems' completely disregards the findings of evidence -based reviews.
According to Abortion and Women's Health, a review released by SPUC in 2017, women who undergo a medical abortion can experience hospital admission, blood transfusions, emergency room treatment, administration of IV antibiotics and infection. Additionally, abortion can have a severely detrimental effect on the mental health of women. Women who have had an abortion are six times more likely to commit suicide compared to women who give birth. They are 30% more likely to suffer from depression, 25% more likely to suffer from anxiety, and at a higher risk of psychiatric admission.
The cattle market culture of abortion was recently exposed in the damning 2017 Quality Care Commission report. The report exposed leading UK abortion chain Marie Stopes for its practice of quickly ushering women through the abortion process and encouraging patients to terminate in order to receive their staff bonus. It now appears that health watchdog NICE are also keenly promoting the cattle market culture of abortion through their speedy and de-regulated abortion guidelines.
The conveyer belt system
SPUC Director of Parliamentary Communications Michael Robinson said: “These recommendations are extremely alarming. Indeed, these proposals will effectively place pregnant women in what can only be described as a heartless 'conveyor belt' system, that will push them towards abortion. At SPUC we understand that so often women or young girls are in a genuine panic when they find that they are pregnant. But we know from speaking to women how deeply the destructive, life-ending choice of abortion can be regretted. Pregnant women need support and care, but society often sees abortion as the quick fix and so many pressures force women towards a tragic choice that at the deepest level, they do not want. These proposals of NICE will further add to the pressure these mothers experience and push them down the path of abortion.
“The NICE Guidelines are a cold and irresponsible approach. Women's safety and mental and physical wellbeing should not be sacrificed in the name of a false efficiency.”
Discussing the claims that abortion would not affect a women's health, Mr Robinson added: “The false claims by NICE are an insult to the hundreds of women hurt by abortion every day.”
Published with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.