- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The British Medical Association has approved a resolution calling on Parliament to liberalize abortion law within the United Kingdom, the BBC reported Tuesday.

Dr. John Chisholm, who chairs the BMA’s ethics committee, stressed that the physicians’ trade organization still sees a role for government in regulating abortion.

“What must be clear is that decriminalisation does not mean deregulation,” Dr. Chisholm said, the BBC reported. “The debate and the BMA’s new policy only relate to whether abortion should or should not be a criminal offence — the policy does not address the broader issue of when and how abortion should be available.”

Pro-life British physicians have decried the move, according to the BBC.

“The BMA has betrayed all who take seriously health care for pregnant woman in favour of an extremist agenda in line with the abortion industry’s,” said Dr. Anthony McCarthy, who serves as education and communications director of the U.K.’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

According to a U.K. government website, under the 1967 Abortion Act women seeking to end their pregnancy must get the approval of two physicians based on the doctors’ evaluation that carrying the child to term will endanger the life or health of the mother or if they deem there to be “a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.”

The Abortion Act applies in England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland has an even stricter law in place, the BBC said.

Current law forbids non-emergency abortions after 24-weeks into the pregnancy, a restriction the BMA does not wish to repeal, the BBC noted. Indeed, most countries have some sort of elective-abortion limit, with only seven countries allowing them after 24 weeks’ gestation.

For his part, however, Dr. McCarthy expressed concerns that the BMA’s move cheers advocates of an “extremist” agenda of abortion without any restrictions.

“The BMA has betrayed all who take seriously health care for pregnant woman in favour of an extremist agenda in line with the abortion industry’s laissez faire ‘up to birth’ attitude to ending the lives of unborn children,” he said, the BBC reported.

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