The UK's highest court has overturned a ruling made in favour of two Catholic midwives who object to any involvement in abortion procedures.
Five justices at the Supreme Court in London allowed an appeal by a health authority in Scotland against a decision of the Court of Session in Edinburgh last year in the case of Mary Doogan and Connie Wood.
As conscientious objectors, the senior midwifery sisters have had no direct role in pregnancy terminations, but they claim they should also be entitled to refuse to delegate, supervise and support staff involved in the procedures or providing care to patients during the process.
They said being called upon to supervise and support staff providing care to women having an abortion would amount to "participation in treatment" and would breach their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The "landmark" ruling was welcomed by the RCM and bpas, who said they intervened in the case because they believed "such a broad and unprecedented interpretation of conscientious objection, applicable across the UK, would effectively have enabled a tiny number of staff opposed to abortion to make women's care undeliverable in many NHS settings".
A group of MPs has backed the introduction of a Bill clarifying to doctors that sex-selective abortion is illegal.Read the full story ›
The UK anti-abortion group LIFE have responded to a video posted on YouTube showing a US woman filmed having an abortion.
The three minute footage of the procedure at a New Jersey clinic, where Emily Letts works, was carried out to show women that “there is such a thing as a positive abortion story."
A spokesperson from the LIFE charity, who state their opposition to abortion on their website, told ITV News:
Ms Letts sets out to prove that having an abortion is a positive experience. LIFE has met many women who do not view their abortion as positive experiences but actually as experiences which result in guilt, regret, anxiety and depression.
Abortion is a serious procedure which ends the life of an unborn child. It should never be taken lightly.
If the video focused on the actual abortion process then the procedure would have shocked viewers.
Instead of normalising, we should be encouraging women to look more closely at abortion and what it involves - including the long term effects.
A US woman has explained her decision to film her own abortion after being unable to find footage of such a procedure online.Read the full story ›
The British Pregnancy Advice Service (BPAS) has been fined £200,000 after a serious breach of the Data Protection Act revealed thousands of people’s details to a malicious hacker who threatened to publish the names of the individuals using the service.
An ICO investigation found the charity did not realise its own website was storing the names, address, date of birth and telephone number of people who asked for a call back for advice on pregnancy issues.
The personal data wasn’t stored securely and a vulnerability in the website’s code allowed the hacker to access the system and locate the information.
The hacker threatened to publish the names of the individuals whose details he had accessed, though that was prevented after the information was recovered by the police following an injunction obtained by the BPAS.
"Independent" abortion clinics in the UK are advising women that an abortion could lead to infertility, serious health damage and a propensity to sexually abuse children.
In footage secretly obtained by The Telegraph, "trained advisers" at two Crisis Pregnancy Centres told women that the risks included a higher chance of developing breast cancer.
The centres are privately run, unregulated advice clinics, and so are not legally obligated to give out medically accurate information.
One of the undercover reporters in the investigation was told at the Central London Women's Centre in London that there is “an increased statistical likelihood of child abuse” because having an abortion meant breaking “natural barriers that are around the child that you don’t cross”.
A spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists - the UK’s medical authority on pregnancy and women’s reproductive health - said there was no scientific evidence to suggest an abortion put women at a greater risk of breast cancer or abusing a child.
A candlelit vigil saw people meet at St Stephens green in Dublin to mark one year since the death of Savita Halappanavar. Savita was an Indian dentist who died in an Irish hospital in October last year after being denied an abortion as she miscarried.
The Director of Public Prosecutions has said the decision not to prosecute two doctors accused of arranging abortions based on the sex of an unborn baby was "very difficult and finely balanced".
Keir Starmer pledged to reveal more about why the conclusion was reached in due course.
This was a very difficult and finely balanced decision. It was based on the individual facts of the case; it is not a policy decision.
But in light of concerns raised today, I have decided that it would be sensible to put into the public domain the case specific reasons for not prosecuting in much greater detail.
The General Medical Council can "better deal" with the case of two doctors accused of arranging abortions based on the sex of an unborn baby, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said today.
Jenny Hopkins, the deputy chief crown prosecutor for CPS London, said the fact that the abortions had not actually taken place influenced the decision not to proceed with a prosecution.
While the abortions did not take place, attempting to commit a criminal offence - that is, doing something that goes further than just preparing to commit it - is also a crime in its own right under the Criminal Attempts Act 1981.
Having carefully considered the evidence, we have concluded that although the case is not straightforward, on balance there is enough evidence to justify bringing proceedings for an attempt. Accordingly, we have considered whether a prosecution is required in the public interest.
The Health Secretary has written to the Government's senior law officer for "urgent clarification" after two doctors accused of arranging abortions based on the sex of an unborn baby avoided prosecution.
Jeremy Hunt said abortion on the grounds of gender selection was "against the law and completely unacceptable" and had written to Attorney General Dominic Grieve about the decision.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided that although there was enough evidence to justify prosecution, it would not be in the public interest.