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High court overturns midwife abortion ruling

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".

Anti-abortion group react to woman's abortion video

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.

– LIFE Charity


Abortion provider fined £200,000 after hacker threatened to publish names

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.

The British Pregnancy Advice Service (BPAS) has been hacked Credit: PA

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.

Abortion clinics filmed 'giving out false advice' to women

"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”.

Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston, a former GP, has called for Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to order a review into abortion counselling. Credit: PA

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.

Vigil marks one year since death of Savita Halappanavar

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.

Andy Foley and Karen Spillane join crowds attending a Candlelit vigil. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire
People attend a Candlelit vigil at St Stephens green in Dublin. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire
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