It seems that the abortion debate may well heat up this side of the Atlantic after new guidelines were published recently.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recently suggested that women should be told some pertinent information about abortion and pregnancy. For those who are opposed to abortion in Britain, this will be like a red rag to a bull.
The advice apparently is in two parts. The first piece of advice is that women should be informed that having an abortion can be a safer option than carrying a pregnancy to full term. Rules at the moment which are aimed at health professionals don’t go this far. Instead they are only supposed to provide women with accurate information about the relative dangers of either of the medical conditions.
While anti abortionists will object to this departure, they are not going to like the second recommendation, which is based on recent research. It seems that women do not suffer from psychological problems, pre or post abortion. Consequently the medical professionals believe that women should be told this.
This contradicts everything that doctors told patients who originally were expected to inform women wanting an abortion that incidents of psychiatric illness and self harm were higher than in pregnant women or others.
The recommendations are not official at the moment, but that hasn’t prevented pro life critics to attack them. Josephine Quintavalle of the Pro-Life Alliance for instance told reporters: “[The RCOG is] “attempting to force an absurdly liberal agenda on women when they are at their most vulnerable.”
Whether pro life groups in Britain start to take more drastic action, as they are doing in the United States, remains to be seen.