Huge backlash to proposal to establish abortion on demand in England

By Dave Andrusko

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Cathy Warwick

Cathy Warwick

You would think that if anything would get people up in arms, it would a call from the leadership of the Royal College of Midwives to abandon any time limit on abortion–abortion on demand–with no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

And, in this case, thankfully, you would be right.

NRL News Today has reposted stories from British sources on the mindboggling change in policy quietly posted on the RCM’s website by its chief executive, Cathy Warwick. That members of an organization dedicated to saving babies would find this obnoxious is hardly surprising. What made it worse is that a genuinely radical change was made without member input.

Oh, and the revelation that “As well as leading Britain’s 30,000 midwives, Cathy Warwick is chairman of the abortion provider, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, which is paid £25 million a year by the NHS [National Health Service] to conduct abortions,” according to The Daily Mail’s Sam Greenhill and Sophie Borland.

Let me offer a few additional comments from source in Great Britain. Let’s start with Isabel Oakeshott, writing for the Daily Mail.

What the blazes has got into the Royal College of Midwives?


She [Prof. Warwick] seeks to sanitise a proposal with grotesque practical implications for the medical profession, and terrible potential physical and emotional consequences for mothers-to-be, in the politically correct language of ‘respecting women’s rights’ over their bodies.

Amid the mounting outcry over her proposal, it is worth considering what role midwives are supposed to represent.

The word ‘midwife’ literally means ‘with woman’.

Almost all these amazing, dedicated professionals see their job as helping mothers-to-be bring new life into the world. To this end, they work long, exhausting shifts on understaffed hospital wards for mediocre rates of pay. …

Does Professor Warwick propose that her members should also fulfil their calling to be ‘with women’ undergoing late terminations? And are they to apply the same standards of care to mother and child?

Another midwife, Sally Carson, was equally flabbergasted and appalled. Writing at The Spectator, Carson explained

If what the BPAS [British Pregnancy Advisory Service] campaign is calling for were ever implemented – the total removal of abortion from criminal law – it would mean that there would be no restriction on abortion whatsoever. This would put the UK in a small international club that includes China and Vietnam – where abortion is available, for any reason, up to birth. The RCM’s decision to support the campaign means that the body that represents me and my vocation advocates for a legal situation in which a baby can have its beating heart stopped – or be dismembered to allow its body parts to be passed – throughout the entire third trimester: 24 weeks and beyond. Is anyone surprised that so many of us find this not only unacceptable, but revolting?

More than a few publications described the furious response as a “mutiny.” What did Warwick and other Royal College of Midwives functionaries have to say in the face of a storm of criticism?

What else? Evasion and a pretense that the change in law, promoted by BPAS in cahoots with the likes of Warwick, would make no practical difference.

Dr. Suzanne Tyler, Director of Services to Members at Royal College of Midwives

Dr. Suzanne Tyler, Director of Services to Members at Royal College of Midwives

Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Dr. Suzanne Tyler, Director of Services to Members at Royal College of Midwives, told Piers Morgan (who said the change could lead to more abortions), “In theory, yes it will mean that abortion will have no limits but there is no evidence to suggest that decriminalising abortion will increase the number of late terminations.”

That certainly is the lesson from 50 years of loosening whatever limitations exist on abortion, right? Please. Don’t insult the listener’s intelligence.

What about Warwick herself? Greenhill and Borland report

Professor Warwick insisted it ‘wasn’t a necessity’ for her to ask the board of the RCM or its members before joining the campaign – which would allow women to have a baby aborted legally any time up to birth.

Really? Well, surely the board was actively involved, right? According to Greenhill and Borland

The RCM’s board – made up of nine senior midwives supposedly in charge of the union’s strategy – was not balloted over the plan which has horrified many of its members.

[Sunday], none of the board members wanted to discuss the crisis, all being either ‘unavailable’ or offering no comment.

But a source close to one of them said that, although she did back the policy, it had come as a surprise. The source added: ‘There was no vote on the subject. She did not even realise it was policy until she read about the furore.’

What could happen next?

There is a demand that Warwick resign, understandably. But it is highly unlikely anyone arrogant enough to do what she did essentially unilaterally would voluntarily step down.

We will keep you up to date as the “furore” continues.