The Scottish government has been accused of deliberately diminishing the views of thousands of individuals who responded to a consultation on home abortions in July.
Anthony Horan, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, has condemned the decision to nullify the responses of the majority of people who took part in the consultation and opposed the government’s stance.
- Only 17 per cent of submissions to the home abortion consultation supported home abortions being made permanent.
- A total of 61 per cent wanted them ended.
- 74 per cent believed they had a negative impact on the safety of women.
Mr Horan said: "Additionally, more than 600 medical professionals signed an open letter to the Scottish, Welsh and English governments calling for an end to “at-home” abortion because of concerns about abortions occurring beyond the ten-week limit and about women and girls being coerced into an abortion against their will.”
“Yet, despite this, the Scottish Government shockingly sought to downplay those individuals who raised concerns, labelling a significant number of the responses as “organised by pro-life or faith groups” as if to downgrade their importance. The same treatment was not given to pro-abortion groups.”
Mr Horan describes the Scottish Government’s publication last week of its Women’s Health Plan which sets out the government’s intention to “make telephone and video consultation universally available as an option for abortion services” as a “deeply concerning” development which undermines the government’s own commitment to “commission an independent evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the current approach, including in relation to safety”.
Mr Horan describes the Scottish government as being “hell bent on making the (home abortion) arrangements permanent” and claims “the Scottish Government is risking the health and wellbeing of vulnerable women and their unborn children and riding roughshod over democratic convention.
"It is dangerous for women, and it is dangerous for democracy.”
Paul Atkin, The Archdiocese's Pro-Life Officer, said: "Scotland has a massive inequality for women in the most deprived areas who have abortion rates twice as high as those from wealthy areas.
"Instead of making abortion easier Scottish Government should be supporting positive choices for pregnant women who are being forced into abortion by poverty."