More British doctors refusing abortions

April 16, 2007

A growing number of doctors in England and Wales are refusing to perform abortions, The Independent reported Monday.

Ann Furedi, chief executive of British Pregnancy Advisory Service told the newspaper many doctors feel, since contraception is freely available through the National Health Service, there was "no excuse" for women who got pregnant accidentally.

"There is a real crisis looming," Furedi told The Independent. "Unless we can address the problem and motivate doctors to train in abortion, we may well face a situation in five years' time in which women's access to abortion is severely restricted."

The report said the growing number of doctors refusing to perform abortions partly reflects "the dinner party test" in which gynecologists who specialize in fertility treatment are almost universally revered but no one boasts of being an abortionist.

Some 190,000 abortions are carried out each year in England and Wales and the National Health Service pays for 80 percent of them, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Some Catholic hospitals make it hard for physicians to provide referrals for reproductive services

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