General Article Abortion guidance ignores gender complexity, says BMA

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New government guidance on abortion fails to address the complexities and legalities around gender, the BMA has warned.

The Department of Health produced updated rules after the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) highlighted a lack of guidance on abortion law as a problem area for doctors.

Guidance in Relation to Requirements of the Abortion Act 1967 states that abortion on the grounds of gender is not lawful.

It adds that the two doctors required to approve abortions must consider women’s individual circumstances and be ready to justify decisions. This is in response to concerns about the use of pre-signed forms.

BMA ethics committee chair Tony Calland said that, while overall the new guidance contained helpful clarification of issues concerning abortion law, the association had some concerns about it.

Exceptional circumstances

Dr Calland said: “We feel that it fails to reflect the complexities and full legal situation regarding

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