Ann Furedi: Breaking the 1967 Abortion Act is ‘a grey area’
Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service), was interviewed this morning by the BBC Radio 4 Today programme concerning the routine breaches of the law discovered by spot checks on more than 250 abortion clinics.
Further to the discovery last month that doctors at three abortion clinics had agreed to terminations based on nothing but the gender of the baby, it has now been established that doctors are ‘pre-signing’ the necessary paperwork to grant professional medical consent for abortions to proceed. The 1967 Abortion Act requires the consent of two doctors, and that consent (quite obviously, you might think) must be based upon full and proper examination of the woman and made with the full awareness of her circumstances. The doctors’ consent amounts to the certification of the legality of the procedure. In the absence of the proper statutory assessment of the medical grounds for performing an abortion, it is difficult to see how this does not constitute the unlawful termination of a baby, and so murder.
Asked about this by James Naughtie on Today, Ann Furedi responded that the statutory conditions in the 1967 Abortion Act are ‘a grey area’.
Are they? Are they really ‘grey’, or did Parliament make it perfectly clear that, except in emergencies, two doctors must agree for a woman to have an abortion? Is not the objective of this stipulation quite plain to comprehend? Is it not designed to mitigate if not eradicate the possibility of error, bias or corruption? Is it not, in short, designed to prevent women seeking abortion ‘on demand’?
What is ‘grey’ about this? How can Ann Furedi justify up to 20 per cent of abortion clinics routinely breaking the law with an appeal to the conditions for termination being ‘a grey area’? Isn’t she paid c£120k a year (undisclosed) to uphold the law at least? How can the UK’s second-highest-paid CEO of a charity be so complacent about the need for abortion providers to adhere to the letter of the Act of Parliament by which their business is regulated?
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is today handing departmental files to the police for them to investigate these allegations. He said: "I am shocked and appalled to learn that some clinics – which look after women in what are often difficult circumstances – may be allowing doctors to pre-sign abortion certificates. This is contrary to the spirit and the letter of the Abortion Act. The rules in the Abortion Act are there for a reason - to ensure there are safeguards for women before an abortion can be carried out. To protect women the right checks and balances must be in place.
Furedi’s response to this?
She said: "Mr Lansley says he is shocked and appalled by the practices he has uncovered. BPAS is shocked and appalled that Mr Lansley has found it necessary to inform journalists of alleged breaches of the abortion law before he has informed those responsible for providing the services that have been investigated, and before the investigation is concluded."
So, there you have it. On the one hand we have the will of Parliament, concerned primarily with the physical and mental health of women. On the other is the will of BPAS, concerned primarily with media scrutiny of their business. Andrew Lansley is ‘shocked and appalled’ by the unlawful killing of unborn babies, whose lives are snuffed out either because they’re the wrong sex or because two reckless doctors can’t be bothered to carry out the necessary examination. Ann Furedi is ‘shocked and appalled’ that the Secretary of State is 'politicaly motivated'. She is completely unfazed by the discovery of systematic deception, corruption and fraud in the failure of abortion clinics to adhere to due process.
And there we see the respective priorities.
Abortion providers such as Marie Stopes and BPAS exist to make money and then to increase their profits year on year. They are competing in a free market. That is why Nadine Dorries sought last year to detach the counselling process from the abortion provider, since they quite obviously have a vested interest in women aborting their babies. In light of these recent discoveries, it is obvious to all reasonable people that Mrs Dorries was quite right. And, in light of Ann Furedi’s ‘slippery and evasive’ interview, it is obvious to all reasonable people that she is palpably unfit to lead the British Pregnancy Advisory Service on account of her manifest inability to advise on the clearest points of law, not to mention her flagrant obfuscation of that law.