.- The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists says the number of doctors refusing to carry out abortions on the grounds of conscience is rising.
While the medical college has warned that this trend threatens to "plunge the abortion service into chaos", journalist Melanie McDonagh proposes that the college take heed of these doctors’ views.
“The fact that more doctors are refusing to carry them out on the grounds of conscience seems to me like an unexpected outbreak of morality in a profession which has become scarily cost-driven in the past decade,” wrote McDonagh in The Telegraph.
Doctors are avoiding abortions, says McDonagh, “not just because it's undemanding, but because it stinks.”
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, which carries out a quarter of all abortions is calling on the government to do more to “motivate doctors to train in abortion.”
McDonagh says it is yet to be seen if the government will respond affirmatively to abortion providers by making abortion part of the new core curriculum for doctors-in-training, which is to be introduced in August.
“Instead of treating the rebel doctors as a problem, why not listen to them? If increasing numbers of doctors don't want anything to do with abortion, it's worth considering not how best to make them conform, but whether they might be right,” says McDonagh.
McDonagh also notes that each abortion can cost between £300 and £500. This is a huge expense for the government given that there are more than 190,000 abortions in England and Wales per year, she says. She suggests some this money “could be better spent on the kind of education that might reduce the number of abortions.”