British Government Breathlessly Announces that Abortion Clinics are Illegally 'Pre-Signing' Consent Forms

Illustration for article titled British Government Breathlessly Announces that Abortion Clinics are Illegally 'Pre-Signing' Consent Forms

The British government has a drastic announcement to make that deeply affects the health and well-being of its female constituents and will most likely shock you to your very core. Are you sitting down? Well, it seems — maybe — that some doctors at abortion clinics are breaking the law by "pre-signing" abortion consent forms. GASP! Why are they engaging in this nefarious behavior? How many clinics are actually doing this? Um, why is this a crucial issue? Because ladies, many of whom have been forced at gunpoint by evil abortion providers to terminate their pregnancies, need to be protected.


"I am shocked and appalled to learn that some clinics — which look after women in what are often difficult circumstances — may be allowing doctors to pre-sign abortion certificates," said Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, who ordered the inspections. "This is contrary to the spirit and the letter of the Abortion Act. The rules in the Abortion Act are there for a reason - to ensure there are safeguards for women before an abortion can be carried out. To protect women the right checks and balances must be in place."

Under British law, two doctors must agree for a woman to have an abortion. They don't actually have to see her in person, but they have to be aware of why she wants to terminate her pregnancy, because it's totally their business. Lansley's inspectors say that 15 to 20 percent of the 250 abortion clinics they checked are pre-signing blank forms "in anticipation of patients seeking a termination," thus violating the aforementioned act. But the accused clinics say they don't believe that's true, and are bewildered as to why — if this is all about "protecting" women, after all — the government didn't alert them of this public health crisis before telling the press and turning it into a political issue.

"Mr Lansley says he is shocked and appalled by the practices he has uncovered. [British Pregnancy Advisory Service] is shocked and appalled that Mr Lansley has found it necessary to inform journalists of alleged breaches of the abortion law before he has informed those responsible for providing the services that have been investigated, and before the investigation is concluded," said BPAS' badass chief executive, Ann Furedi. Abigail Fitzgibbon, Public Policy Manager at BPAS, said that there was "no suggestion" the doctors in the clinics were doing anything illegal, and that the Department of Health had been "unclear" about the findings. "I don't know what it is that these un-named doctors in these un-named clinics are supposed to have done," she said. The General Medical Council told the Huffington Post UK that they hadn't referred any doctors to the authorities "just yet" as they did not yet have the full information. Interesting how not having all of the details didn't stop them from briefing the press!

Furedi also said it's troubling that Lansley is up in arms about this purported crisis, but stayed silent while their website was hacked and patients were filmed by antichoice activists. "He's not concerned about women or staff in abortion clinic," she said. "There are so many things we could talk to him about about women and sexual healths. There are so many ways he could improve provision for women." She added that she's worried that antiabortion sentiment will continue to rise, as it has in "the States," now that their Secretary of State is ordering vague, secret raids on abortion clinics under the guide of "caring" about women. Next up: all women seeking abortions must be cross-examined and subsequently vetted by the Queen.

Abortion forms being 'pre-signed' [Guardian]
Abortion Forms: BPAS Asks Why Pre-Signing Claims Went To Press Before Police [Huffington Post UK]



I think quite a few members of the Conservative party think very much along the lines of Republicans in the US.

But I admit that I may be reading to much into this.