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Michael Nevill: Nurses should support moves to decriminalise abortion

The law on abortion is an outmoded barrier to optimal care in medical abortions. It forces women to take matters into their own hands and deprives nurses of an opportunity to extend their skills, says the British Pregnancy Advisory Service's director of nursing.

The law on abortion is an outmoded barrier to optimal care in medical abortions. It forces women to take matters into their own hands and deprives nurses of an opportunity to extend their skills, says the British Pregnancy Advisory Service's director of nursing

In November, the faculty of sexual and reproductive healthcare of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists became the latest medical body to declare its support for the decriminalisation of abortion, joining the Royal College of Midwives and the British Medical Association in doing so.

The 1967 Abortion Act did not remove abortion from the underlying criminal law that made it an offence – punishable by life imprisonment – to induce a miscarriage. Rather it created exemptions to prosecution for women and care providers when two doctors confirmed that the individual met certain criteria.

Option denied

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