Royal College of Nurses: You Must Reject Abortion Up Until Birth

Petition to Janet Davies, RCN


Royal College of Nurses: You Must Reject Abortion Up Until Birth

11,239 people have signed. Help us reach 20,000 signatures.

Royal College of Nurses: You Must Reject Abortion Up Until Birth

The Royal College of Nurses (RCN) are now consulting their members about whether or not the organisation should support the ‘decriminalisation’ of abortion.

The RCN are trying to maintain that this consultation is not about the time limit for abortions nor is it about conscientious refusals. To state this is either wholly ignorant of what ‘decriminalisation’ means or is disingenuous.

The Abortion Act 1967 is based on exemptions from prosecution under section 58 of the Offences Against The Person Act 1861 (which otherwise prohibits abortion throughout pregnancy), and the Infant Life (Preservation) Act 1929 (which prohibits ‘child destruction’ beyond 28 weeks). If abortion is removed from criminal law, then this must entail either repealing section 58 of the 1861 Act, or also repealing the 1929 Act.

If the former, then abortion would be legalised up to 28 weeks, and the regulations of the Abortion Act voided up to that point in pregnancy. If the latter, then abortion would be legalised up to birth, and the Abortion Act would become a dead letter (which would, amongst other things, void the conscience protections it contains).

To be clear: if abortion is ‘decriminalised’ completely, no abortion would be subject to criminal law, which means that an abortion performed by a doctor and assisted by a nurse (or even performed by a nurse) at any stage of pregnancy would be legally permitted. In which case, the RCN are considering whether to campaign for abortion on demand, for any reason, at any stage of pregnancy. This would include sex-selective abortion and abortion of babies with disabilities up until the moment they are born.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) is one of Britain's largest abortion providers and one of the main lobby groups pushing for the "decriminalisation" of abortion. The head of BPAS, Ann Furedi, has confirmed that decriminalisation means that “there should be absolutely no grounds for abortion whatsoever… there should be no legal upper limit, that is what taking it out of the criminal law means".

Abortion up to birth for any reason: the RCN is now considering backing the extremist position of campaigning for the legalisation of abortion up until birth for any reason whatsoever. This would include sex-selective abortion and abortion of babies with disabilities up until the moment they are born.

Only China, North Korea (hardly beacons of human rights and dignity), Vietnam and Canada have such permissive abortions laws. The Canadian Medical Association Journal had this to say about the situation in Canada: “Easy access to abortion and advances in prenatal sex determination have combined to make Canada a haven for parents who would terminate female fetuses in favour of having sons.”

Needless to say these countries and their abhorrent practices are hardly the kind of thing which should be imitated in the UK.

Women do not want abortion ‘decriminalisation’: Not only are the RCN advancing this extreme position, but their doing so is completely out of touch with what most women want.

A ComRes poll commissioned by Where Do They Stand in 2017 showed that only 1% of the population want the abortion limit raised until birth and in fact a full 70% of women would like the current time limit for abortion to be lowered. Importantly, 91% of women want a sex-selective abortion ban, but decriminalisation would permit abortion on these grounds.

Please sign this petition urging the RCN to reject this extremist abortion proposal.

This petition has been created by a citizen or association not affiliated with CitizenGO. CitizenGO is not responsible for its contents.
+ Letter to:

Sign this petition now!

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please enter your email
Please enter your country
Please enter your postcode
Please select an option:
We process your information in according with our Privacy policy and Terms of use.By signing, you accept CitizenGO's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and you agree to receive occasional emails about our campaigns. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Regarding the RCN's Position on Abortion Decriminalisation

Dear Ms. Davies,

I understand that the RCN have launched a UK wide survey of its members on the principle of removing criminal sanctions for abortion.

Your website claims “We are not consulting on the wider issues of termination of pregnancy, including the arguments for or against the procedure, nor are we calling for any change to gestational limits or change to the right to conscientious objection by health care professionals”. I find the latter half of this statement to be wholly ignorant or intentionally disingenuous. If section 58 of the 1861 Offence Against the Person Act were removed (which it would be, were abortion to be decriminalised) the Abortion Act 1967 would become obsolete up to 28 weeks. Therefore, both the conscience protections and the gestational limits found within the Act would cease to hold legal force up to that point in pregnancy.

If abortion were completely decriminalised by repeal of the Infant Life Preservation Act 1929, this would involve the removal of all gestational limits. So rather than abortion being permitted under certain criteria up to 24 weeks and permitted up to birth in other instances, it would be legally permitted up until the birth of the child.

Ann Furedi, the head of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) whom you have rightly noted are the chief backers of this effort to ‘decriminalise’ abortion, has been perfectly clear about what ’decriminalisation’ of abortion means: it means removal of abortion from the criminal law entirely and therefore making abortion perfectly legal up until birth. This is a form of extremism in regard to abortion and the RCN must not support it.

As you and others are liable to point out, ‘decriminalisation’ does not necessarily entail ‘deregulation’. However, regulation does not remotely have the same force as law and can be much more easily changed. I have no doubt that legally permitting abortions up until birth, will permit abortion up to birth in medical settings also, regulated perhaps only by a physician's willingness to carry out such a procedure.

So not only are the RCN now considering supporting abortion up till 28 weeks or up until birth, but you are also considering supporting abortion on the grounds of the sex of the child. As I am sure you know, it is primarily baby girls who are killed in the womb for the crime of being baby girls.

Decriminalisation is being pushed by a small radical group who wish to see abortion up until birth for any reason and without restriction. The nursing profession must not bring itself into disrepute by supporting these extreme abortion laws.

[Your Name]

Royal College of Nurses: You Must Reject Abortion Up Until Birth

Sign this petition now!

11,239 people have signed. Help us reach 20,000 signatures.