22nd September, 2017

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has today joined the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal College of Midwives in announcing their support for the decriminalisation of abortion.

Members of RCOG voted on a proposal to support removing abortion procedures from the criminal law, meaning that they would be regulated in the same way as any other medical procedure.

The BMA announced their support for the same measures in June this year, following the Royal College of Midwives’ statement of support last year.

Laura Russell, Policy Manager for the sexual health charity FPA, said:

“This announcement is especially welcome, coming as it does in the same week in which it was revealed that, in a four month period, over 500 women in Great Britain felt the need to turn to Women on Web to get abortion pills online. This shocking fact demonstrates that our 50-year-old abortion law isn’t delivering the care that women need.

“In the year that marks the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this antiquated law isn’t working, either for women who need an abortion or for medical professionals. First the British Medical Association, and now the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, have joined the Royal College of Midwives in speaking out on the need for abortion to be decriminalised and regulated like any other medical procedure.

“A survey conducted by YouGov for bpas in March also found that there is public support for decriminalisation of abortion – two-thirds of people said they didn’t support imprisoning women who end a pregnancy without a doctor’s authorization.

“We look forward to hearing the government’s response to this overwhelming support for bringing abortion law into the 21st century.”