Should Abortion be de-criminalised after 24 weeks?

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The Royal College of Midwives has faced controversy after calling for the legal limits on abortion to be scrapped. Midwives have been told they will have the option to not participate in later abortions – but many are in open revolt.

Yesterday the RCM leadership issued a statement reaffirming its commitment to a radical change in the law.

A spokesman said: “The RCM does not believe it is right that in the 21st Century it is still the case that women who choose to have an abortion can be criminalised and jailed.

Accordingly the RCM believes that abortion should be removed from the criminal law. The RCM believes that if we are to be advocates for women then we must advocate for choice on all aspects of their care.”

“This is not about being for or against abortion; it is about being for women and respecting their choices about their bodies.”

Do you agree that women should be able to terminate their pregnancy at any stage? Or do you think the legal abortion limit should remain at 24 weeks? What are your views?

Should Abortion be de-criminalised after 24 weeks?

142 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

What are your views?

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iestynlad
19th Jun 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
I've voted yes but want to qualify my view. Yes if the pregnancy arises because of rape. In fact, I think that abortion should be compulsory if the expectant mother has been raped. Imagine a child finding out that this was how they came into the world!
Judy W
18th Jun 2016
2
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This is one of those questions that simply cannot be answered with a straightforward 'Yes' or 'No'. Each case is different and must be considered on an individual basis. As such, this topic is not suitable for discussion in this way.
alisonmay
16th Jun 2016
2
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Life at any stage is sacred.
HJR58
28th May 2016
4
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I was a Midwife for more than twenty years. I have cared for women having late terminations for medical reasons. If the pregnancy is more than 22 weeks a fetocide procedure has to be carried out to ensure the baby isn't born alive. This a legal obligation. It is a very difficult thing for both the parents and the staff involved and never a decision taken lightly.
I strongly oppose the move by the RCM to campaign to change the law on this matter. The current limit surely allows plenty of time for a woman to end a pregnancy in the vast majority of circumstances. I also think it unfair to expect Midwives to be involved in such procedures as a matter of course.
I am fervently pro-choice but am convinced that this campaign is ill judged.
ColetteR
15th Jul 2016
-1
Thanks for voting!
I too was a Midwife and support your comment 100%
ginntonic
26th May 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
Abortion after 24 weeks should only be for medical reasons.
Lionel
18th May 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
Perhaps we should consider the long term implications of aborting a child.

My first wife had had two abortions before marrying me. I didn't know until much later. She early become depressed and sank to taking Valium like Smarties. That was in the days of open prescriptions. She remained in that state for many years of our marriage.

I believe the guilt of aborting two children weighed so heavily on her it marred the rest of her life.

We must be concerned about the long term effects of abortion. It's not as simple as throwing unwanted rubbish in the bin.
Lionel
18th May 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
Abortion is so often a consequence of the low moral standards our generation began, and our children took further. It seems to me, now it really is a case of anything goes!

I believe the matter of abortion should be addressed in tandem with morality.

As far as legislation is concerned I fail to see how a one size fits all policy can work. Further, as in so many other areas of life, it seems to me everyone is a special case.

But what to do?
jeanmark
18th May 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
I agree with the latter part of your comment Lionel but can't agree with the first. How do you define low moral standards and why should abortion be addressed in tandem with morality? Your latter comment demonstrates your recognition that there is no clear distinction between right and wrong where abortion is concerned?

For many women the decision to have an abortion is very tough and yes, it can affect the rest of their lives. However, so can the effects of carrying a child for 9 months following rape and other forms of sexual abuse. Have you any idea of the psychological effects of this?
Lionel
18th May 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
I'll take your second point first if I may. As a man there's much of womanhood I may not understand. That's how it should be. The external symptoms of a girl, or woman, carrying a rape sired child I may observe and sympathise, but I cannot empathise. In the same way, it required many years of tenderness before my first wife could tell me her history. Then the guilt of not speaking up before we were married hit and made her depression worse. It must be said, she was the product of an extremely legalistic Methodist Chapel in the north of England. She carried guilt for matters where no guilt attached.

So the answer to your question must be almost a no.

Your first point about morality. In view of people being feared of behaving in any way less than politically correct, in view of heightened sensitivities and certain laws relating to what may be published and what may not, I must decline to answer in detail.

However, you've been involved with the Health Service for a working lifetime. You must surely understand there are always consequences to wrong life decisions. Smoking, for instance, carries its own penalties as does excessive drinking. I could go on. But sexual promiscuity has its own unwanted consequences. I need not spell them out.

I believe, with some amount of conviction, the rise in abortion numbers, and STI infections, is a direct result of the general acceptance of a weak moral code promulgated by liberal thinkers. The need for an abortion does not stand in isolation, no, it is a consequence of an action.

And here stands the clear distinction between right and wrong.
We all have a conscience. That stands as the guardian of the soul. Crossing the boundaries of conscience will result in unwanted consequences. Some may be remedied but many may not. Valium does not address the underlying cause of depression. No, that's a spiritual matter and must be dealt with spiritually, and very carefully. Forgiveness is one of the sweetest things, but so few seek it.

Jean mark, please do not understand I am a religious man. I am not. But I am a deeply spiritual, compassionate man. As said, a one size fits all law will never work well. There must always be a place for compassion and understanding which cannot be defined in law.

My point about special cases in the context of this subject refers to this: a woman, or girl, who wilfully neglects herself and engages in promiscuity with the resulting consequences is not a special case. That is self inflicted. A woman, or girl, who is raped, or coerced/blackmailed, and faces the physical consequences is a special case and all compassion and urgency must be employed to restore her. Better than restore, re-form her so she may face life without guilt, without unwanted child and without any stigma.

I would add, where a woman's life is in danger if she carries a child to term, then an abortion is required and must be offered her. But abortion should never, not ever, be the ultimate form of contraception.
ColetteR
15th Jul 2016
0
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Absolutely spot on Lionel. Abortion is being used as contraception and that is not acceptable.
jeanmark
18th May 2016
2
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Very well put Lionel and I can not disagree with your reasoning. Thank you for such understanding.
Lionel
18th May 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
I'm a relative stranger to online forums. Being very shy its easier for me to communicate anonymously.

But these forums have limitations. One may not see the writer, observe facial expressions or body language. One cannot hear the tone of voice used to make a point, or experience the intensity felt at that moment. One cannot enter into a persons conviction.

The written word is very cold, anonymous, unfeeling.

Furthermore, a long post is seldom read so thoughts must be condensed into fifty or perhaps a hundred words. On subjects such as abortion or the Junior Doctors this is impossible, the scope being so vast.

Please do pick up on anything I write. I'll very happily expand on the point.
Pam1960
17th May 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
Back in the day when I was born abortion was illegal. If it wasn't I probably wouldn't be here today. I was adopted as a baby and have had a wonderful life due to my super parents. My adoptive mother was diagnosed with cancer of the ovaries aged 18 two months after her marriage.I don't know how it must feel not to have your own child but for the thousands of people out there who are unable to do so abortion as an option instead of using contraception must seem very wrong. I agree that it is a woman's choice but from either point of view it will be something the woman will have to live with for the rest if her life. The decision to keep a baby or gave a termination is thankfully not one I have had to make
Pam1960
17th May 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Abortion should only take place up to 24 weeks. I am not against abortion in certain cases such as if the health of the mother is at risk or if the baby will be born with a condition which will affect its quality of life. This nay seem harsh but if the patents are unable to cope then who will look after the child. I think young girls who get pregnant should be offered terminations as they are children themselves, not capable of supporting a child either physically, mentally or financially. You often find that underage pregnancies run in families and this is not a great start for anyone. I would give all secondary school age girls the contraceptive injection at school unless there was a medical reason not to. Years of sex education has not stopped these pregnancies. Pregnancy as a result of rape should be allowed. No one should be allowed more than one termination unless their health is at risk
Wilf
17th May 2016
2
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Not sure I totally agree with that Pam. I do think its up to the mother and I do agree that 24 weeks should be the limit. In fact it should be a lot less in my opinion...maybe 16 weeks
HJR58
28th May 2016
2
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Depends on the reason for the termination. Fetal anomaly scans are not performed before 18 weeks. There then may be other tests performed to confirm genetic abnormalities for example.
Pam1960
17th May 2016
4
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It would be quite boring if we always agreed. I think free contraceptives should be available. Abortion should always be a last resort.
ColetteR
15th Jul 2016
0
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Free contraception is available at all Family Planning Clinics already and has been for years! The problem is getting women and men to use it and not resort to abortion as their method of contraception.
Wilf
17th May 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Hi Pam, I agree on both counts with you. the great thing about Great Britain is everyone here has got a different opinion and they are free to voice it! Image if we all lived in a place like North Korea!
Alicia
17th May 2016
-2
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Abortion is murder and should not be allowed except in extreme medical emergencies.
ColetteR
15th Jul 2016
0
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I agree! I had to, as a student nurse 19 yeahs old, assist with abortions in Theatre. We were not given the choice that students have these days. Believe me if you witness an abortion-a murder no less-it stays with you for the rest of your days. Far too flippant these days regarding abortion, treating these babies as pieces of tissue to be disposed of.
If a baby is murdered you're all up in arms! Where's the difference from a helpless foetus in utero to a baby that has just been born?
HJR58
28th May 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Life is never that black and white. Women must have choice. Banning legal abortion just leads to more 'back street' abortions and worse outcomes for the women concerned.
jeanmark
17th May 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Alicia, try telling an eleven year old girl who has been raped and become pregnant as a result that she is a murderer. Such a situation would not be considered an extreme medical emergency. Neither would a ten year old who has become pregnant because of being abused by her father. Abortion is a very emotive subject and one law does not suit all situations.
JohnHerb
17th May 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
I do not think abortions should be allowed after 24 weeks after all its a little person...in fact not sure I agree with abortion at all unless under some special circumstances
HJR58
28th May 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
You'll never be in the position to have to make that choice!

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