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25/09/2017

RCOG Supports Decriminalisation Of Abortion

The Council of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has said it has voted "strongly in favour" of supporting the removal of criminal sanctions associated with abortion in the UK.

The College sought a position on the matter as it represents the group of doctors who provide the majority of abortion services across the UK.

In a statement, the organisation said it will now adopt the following statement as its formal position. It reads: "The RCOG supports the removal of criminal sanctions associated with abortion in the UK. We believe that the procedure should be subject to regulatory and professional standards, in line with other medical procedures, rather than criminal sanctions.

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"Abortion services should be regulated; however, abortion for women, doctors and other healthcare professionals should be treated as a medical, rather than a criminal issue.

"The College is not calling for any change in gestational limits for abortion which should remain in place through the appropriate regulatory and legislative process.

"We have come to this consensus following a discussion at the RCOG Council, where council members voiced a broad range of views during an informed and considered debate on the needs of the women and girls for whom we provide this very necessary service."

Professor Lesley Regan, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: "I am pleased that the Council of our College has voted in support of removing criminal sanctions associated with abortion. Having a formal position on decriminalisation will enable the College to usefully contribute to the debate surrounding what a post decriminalisation landscape might look like.

"I want to be clear that decriminalisation does not mean deregulation and abortion services should be subject to regulatory and professional standards, in line with other medical procedures. I strongly believe that the College has a responsibility to protect women's health by ensuring access to this key healthcare service."

(JP/LM)

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"The Council of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has said it has voted "strongly in favour" of supporting the removal of criminal sanctions associated with abortion in the