Pro-life groups says abortion clinics 'routinely fudge or flout the law'

The Government must break its ties with the abortion industry following an investigation indicating that one in five abortion clinics are suspected of breaking the law, a pro-life group has said.

Following a series of unannounced raids, the Care Quality Commission discovered that doctors were regularly falsifying consent forms and patients were not receiving acceptable levels of advice and counselling.

Anthony Ozimic of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) said: “The CQC’s findings confirm what pro-lifers have been saying for decades: that abortion clinics routinely fudge or flout the law, regulations and professional guidance on abortion.

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“It confirms all the other evidence that abortion is available virtually on demand. In 2007 Dr Vincent Argent, the former medical director of Britain’s largest private abortion provider BPAS, told Parliament that there was widespread falsifying of abortion forms by abortion clinics.

He later continued: “There are 200,000 abortions every year in Britain, yet the pro-abortion lobby wants the abortion law to be even more liberal. Maybe that’s because the pro-abortion lobby represents a multi-million pound industry – the abortion industry.

“The government must not only clamp down on individual doctors but must cut its ties to the abortion lobby and the abortion industry”, concluded Mr Ozimic.

Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary is understood to be preparing an urgent statement for MPs and Peers today and has said that he is “appalled” at the revelations. He continued:

“Because if it happens, it is pretty much people engaging in a culture of both ignoring the law and trying to give themselves the right to say that although Parliament may have said this, we believe in abortion on demand.

“There is the risk that women don’t get the appropriate level of pre-abortion support and counselling because, if your attitude is that, ‘You’ve arrived for an abortion and you should have one,’ well actually many women don’t get the degree of support they should.” said Mr Lansley.

In an interview with the Today Programme this morning, Ann Furedi the Chief Executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said: “I would completely agree that it is right and proper that our services should be inspected and we open our doors.

“What I think is absolutely wrong is the way in which the Secretary of State has instructed the Care Quality Commission this week to effectively abandon all of its other work that they’re dealing with.

“What I have been told is that on Monday the Care Quality Commission were told that they needed to prioritise on inspections of up to 500 abortion providing clinics throughout the country. They have stopped doing their other work to do this.”

When asked what her response was to the advanced signing of consent forms, she replied: “There’s a grey area about that. It’s clearly not best practice.”

Niall Gooch, spokesperson for the abortion counselling charity, Life, said that it was time for the Government to act. He said: “The results of the investigation show that a large number of abortion clinics are operating in a fashion which is complacent, fraudulent and potentially harmful to women’s health.

He continued: “Abortion providers can no longer be allowed to sweep their problems under the rug. It is clear that there is a culture of disregard for the most basic laws and regulations, and that help for vulnerable women is totally inadequate at many clinics. The time for continuing with “business as normal” is past.

“The intense scrutiny of these clinics by the CQC was itself prompted by recent revelations about British abortion clinics offering illegal sex-selective abortions, while just this month a paper in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology suggested that official Department for Health statistics for late abortion may be highly unreliable.

“On top of this, two recent public opinion polls – by respected pollsters Angus Reid Global and ComRes – have found evidence of widespread dissatisfaction with UK abortion law among voters. The public voice must be heard. It is time to act.”

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