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RCN consults on the decriminalisation of abortion

16 Feb 2018

The RCN is launching a UK-wide survey of its members on the principle of removing criminal sanctions from termination of pregnancy.

RCN consults on decriminalisation of abortion

The online survey, which is available to complete until Sunday 18 March 2018, will help the RCN to form a position on decriminalisation in the midst of a growing national debate.

Currently, termination of pregnancy is legal in England, Scotland and Wales, within certain criteria that must be agreed by two doctors. Without this agreement, termination is a criminal offence which could result in a prison sentence. In Northern Ireland, termination of pregnancy is illegal except in very limited cases.

There are different ways in which termination of pregnancy could be decriminalised but the survey will only focus on the principle of whether or not it should be removed from criminal law.

The RCN has produced a briefing paper for members which explains the issue in more detail.

Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said:

“Decriminalisation is an important issue for today’s society to consider and one the College is committed to having a position on.

“As the largest nursing organisation in the United Kingdom, we wish to understand the views of our members.

“I encourage all RCN members to complete the survey to help us inform our position.”