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OnMedica – News – Abortion care ‘should be reformed’


Too a lot abortion care is offered outdoors the NHS, says medical lead

Mark Gould

Friday, 23 December 2016

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Abortion care within the UK and 50-year-previous abortion laws is in radical want of reform, an skilled within the area argues. Women looking for abortion face challenges together with inequitable entry, a scarcity of educated employees, stigmatisation, and a tradition of exceptionalism, explains Dr Sandy Goldbeck-Wood, editor in chief of the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care,* who’s medical lead for abortion providers at Cambridge University Hospitals.

Writing within the journal, she argues that issues of entry and stigma, acquainted worldwide, are compounded by the outdated 1967 Abortion Act extensively seen as “not fit for purpose” and thought of to be “out of step with technical advances in safe medical abortion and current UK social values.”

Most women consider they’ve a proper to make their very own choice about abortion, she says, however British regulation nonetheless requires the identification of great bodily or psychological health danger by two docs not essentially certified, and who might not know the lady personally. The regulation is, subsequently, extensively seen by clinicians as “hypocritical and anachronistic,” Dr Goldbeck-Wood says.

Another drawback is that abortion care has turn into artificially separated from the remainder of reproductive health care, she provides. In the UK, a excessive proportion of abortion care is offered in specialist organisations outdoors the NHS.

This signifies that trainees in obstetrics and gynaecology – amongst them the potential service suppliers of the longer term – have too little alternative to profit from the training surroundings that abortion care presents. “As well as reinforcing stigma, this deprives trainees of valuable learning opportunities,” she says.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives are amongst a variety of women’s organisations to name for a reform of the regulation.

“Abortion care remains a high-volume, under-researched and under-integrated area of women’s healthcare,” she writes. “2017 is an excellent time for practitioners to be challenging hypocrisy and exceptionalism in UK abortion care, and leading respectful debate centred on women’s needs, with complexity acknowledged.”


* Goldbeck-Wood S. Reforming abortion providers within the UK: much less hypocrisy, extra acknowledgment of complexity. J Fam Plann Reprod Health Care 2017;43:three-four doi:10.1136/jfprhc-2016-101696


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