United Kingdom: will surgical abortion soon be carried out by midwives?

Publié le 2 May, 2017

In the United Kingdom, Sally Sheldon, Professor of Law, has announced that the 1967 Abortion Act has been poorly interpreted to date. Supported by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, she claims that the law not only authorises doctors to carry out surgical abortions but also midwives. She argues that, by extending abortions to midwives, the NHS [1] could make savings and shorten waiting times for women.


Professor Sheldon is well known in the United Kingdom for her pro-abortion stance. She is mainly in favour of lifting the ban on abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy. She received a State grant of €600,000 to reassess legislation, 50 years after the Abortion Act was adopted.


In the United Kingdom, more than 50% of abortions are medical abortions practised by doctors, midwives and nurses. Forty percent of abortions are surgical and can only be carried out by a doctor.


MPs and pro-life supporters have responded vehemently to these announcements. According to MP Maria Caulfield, a trained nurse, “midwives are under pressure. On the one hand they are being asked to save lives, and on the other hand, to carry out abortions”.


[1] National Health Service.

Daily Mail, Jonathan Petre (15/04/2017)

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