U.K. Nurses Enter Abortion Battleground

Could perform early-term procedures under new reading of 40-year-old law
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2007 12:53 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Specially trained nurses should be allowed to perform early-term surgical abortions without a doctor present, two U.K. medicos are arguing, based on a "wide interpretation" of Britain's 1967 Abortion Act. Though British nurses are currently allowed to carry out drug-induced abortions, they have been barred up to now from running surgical procedures. 

The two doctors argue that surgical abortion is comparable to inserting a catheter into the womb to deliver intrauterine contraceptives, a procedure nurses already perform. But pro-life groups are crying foul. Anthony Ozimic, of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said that the possible change would be, "getting nurses to do doctors' dirty work."