UK: The increasingly polarised debate on abortion imperils women

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by Sonia Sodha
A woman’s right to choose has been a hard-fought battle and we must ensure proper quality of care

Sunday 22 January 2017, The Guardian

Imagine the outcry. A charity offering a common medical procedure – 70,000 a year, more than in the NHS itself – is found guilty of terribly poor standards of care. You’d expect some calls for the chief executive’s head; others claiming this represents the creeping privatisation of the NHS; and serious questions asked about how NHS commissioners were unaware of the issues.

This did, in fact, happen last year. The charity was Marie Stopes International and the procedure was abortion. The Care Quality Commission found serious problems. Staff responsible for getting consent from pregnant girls under 16 were not trained in recognising signs of child sexual abuse. Doctors left clinics before all patients had been discharged, leaving them with nurses untrained to deal with emergency situations. And inspectors observed a case where doctors failed to ensure a visibly distressed woman with a learning disability understood the procedure she was about to undergo when seeking consent.

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Source, The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/22/abortion-debate-marie-stopes-womens-right-to-safe-healthcare