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More UK Doctors Refusing to Do Abortions. Young Doctors Especially Contrary to Procedure, Statistics Show
LONDON, APRIL 17, 2007 (Zenit.org).- A growing number of doctors in the United Kingdom are refusing to perform abortions for ethical reasons, a new report shows.

A report by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists looked specifically at the number of abortions that now take place at private clinics instead of public ones because of unavailable staff.

The number of abortions in private clinics 10 years ago was 20%; now the number is closer to 40%.

Still, the newspaper Independent reported on Monday that the number of abortions in England and Wales is at a record 190,000 a year. With fewer doctors willing to perform the procedure, abortion supporters say that within five years, there may be more demand for abortions than doctors to provide them.

Furthermore, with fewer doctors in public clinics willing to perform abortions, hospitals must refer those seeking abortion to private clinics. And the National Health Service, which funds four out of five abortions in Britain, is struggling to cope with the bills.

Saving, not taking life

Julia Millington of the London-based ProLife Alliance said that the news of fewer abortions at public clinics is certainly welcomed.

In a press statement, Millington added: "We have been hearing for some time now that young doctors, in particular, do not want to work in this field.

"Those choosing to go into medicine presumably do so because they want to cure sickness and disease, not end the lives of innocent human beings."

In the United Kingdom, abortion is legal throughout the entire pregnancy if the doctor believes the baby suffers a severe disability, or if the mother's life is at risk.

Otherwise, depending on the mental health of the mother, an abortion can be had up to 24 weeks.

On another front, a London Catholic hospital will ban abortion-referral, contraception provision and in vitro fertilization following a campaign to restore its Catholic identity.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor of Westminster asked that the ethical code of the Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth be revised after learning that doctors were providing the morning-after pill and referring women for abortions.

The new code is expected to be agreed upon by the hospital board next month.