Professor Jack Scarisbrick is the Life National Chairman of Life, a pro-life charity http://lifecharity.org.uk. Last Tuesday the Daily Mail published a letter from him. The figure of 96.4% of abortions (in the title of this post) is calculated by multiplying the figures of 97% and 99.4% in the published letter. When the 1967 Abortion Bill was ‘sold’ to the British people, the proponents were adamant that the resulting Act wouldn’t result in ‘abortion on demand’. Were they naïve, misguided, or simply lying?
Professor Scarisbrick’s letter:
“The most recent (2012) figures published by the Department of Health show that once again the overwhelming majority of abortions – 97 per cent – were carried out on the grounds that continuing the pregnancy would involve risk to the mental or physical health of the women ‘greater than if the pregnancy were terminated’.
Of these, 99.4 per cent were done on mental health grounds. Just over 180,000 pregnancies were terminated because abortion was judged to be better for the women’s mental health than having their baby.
Only 108 abortions were undertaken to protect physical health. On 180,000 occasions, two doctors gave their professional opinion that giving birth would be more damaging psychologically to the women concerned than ending those pregnancies.
The latest Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (‘RCOG’) guidelines on the care of women requesting an abortion say women with an unintended pregnancy ‘are no more or less likely to suffer adverse psychological consequences if they have an abortion or continue with the pregnancy and have the baby’.
A massive review entitled Induced Abortion and Mental Health was published by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (‘AMRC’). It was compiled by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health set up by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the British Psychological Society, and paid for by the Department of Health.
It, too, concluded that ‘the rates of mental problems for women with an unwanted pregnancy were the same, whether they had an abortion or gave birth’. But several factors might result in post-abortion problems, such as a previous history of mental disease, pressure from a partner to have an abortion, ‘negative attitudes towards abortion’, or the women’s ‘personal experience of the abortion’.
The Abortion Act requires that the doctors who give their assent or carry out the abortion are acting ‘in good faith’. If all these doctors ignore what the specialists of the RCOG and AMRC are saying about the mental health outcomes of what they’re doing, are they really acting in good faith? If not, those abortions aren’t protected by the Abortion Act. [My emphasis]
It looks as though 98 per cent of all abortions don’t meet the requirements of the law. So what is the Department of Health doing about it? Why has no Minister for Health or law officer taken any action?
The law is being made to look an ass, and profound damage is being done to women’s minds and sometimes their bodies. We should wake up to what the Abortion Act has done to our society.”