By Steve Fouch
Christian Medical Fellowship
Fallout from the Glasgow [Scotland] Midwives case continues to roll out. This month the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) released (rather quietly) their new position statement on abortion.
The case of [Mary] Doogan & [Connie]Wood highlighted an issue with the conscientious objection clause in the 1967 Abortion Act. Specifically this was around what constituted actually being involved in an abortion procedure.
The two senior midwives at a Glaswegian maternity unit made it clear that they did not wish to be responsible for supervising junior staff involved in termination of pregnancy procedures on the basis of a conscientious objection to abortion.
Although the Scottish Court of Appeal upheld their claim, The Supreme Court eventually ruled that they had no right to opt out of supervision, delegation or support of junior staff, as the right to conscientious objection only applied to those involved in direct, clinical procedures. Supervisory roles or other areas of care could not be subject to the right to conscientious objection in the Abortion Act.
The new RCM statement states that midwives should be involved in all care of a woman undergoing a termination, but that they have the right to opt out on the basis of conscience from only those clinical procedures directly involved in the abortion.
This further hardens clause 4.4 of the Nursery and Midwifery Council (NCM) Code that likewise allows for conscientious objection in only limited circumstances. Furthermore, both the NMC and RCM make referral to another competent practitioner an obligation. The RCM justifies this with reference to the GMC guidelines, stating that these guidelines say a doctor who objects must refer.
Article continues: http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/