Skip to main content


EDM (Early Day Motion) 1676: tabled on 22 July 2002

Tabled in the 2001-02 session.

This motion has been signed by 10 Members. It has not yet had any amendments submitted.

As this motion is using historical data, we may not have the record of the original ordering, in which case signatories are listed alphabetically.

Motion text

That this House notes the Government's pilot schemes allowing the RU486 abortion pill to be provided through family planning clinics, rather than in the safer conditions of hospitals; considers it will increase the dangers to women, especially in the light of evidence cited on 17th May by Dr Richard Hausknecht, Medical Director of DANCO, the RU486 manufacturer, showing that the technique is 'not safer than a surgical abortion', is 'fraught with risk and problems', 'includes the taking of two or perhaps five hazardous drug combinations' and 'too often has complications ranging from moderate bleeding to severe pain, and for some women blood transfusions'; notes similar admissions by Dr Edouardo Sakiz, former Chairman of Roussel-Uclaf, which developed the drug, that it can subject women to an 'appalling psychological ordeal'; further notes the statement by the Marie Stopes representative to the Select Committee on Health on 10th July that 'fewer doctors are willing to perform abortions' and therefore the law should be amended to allow nurses to perform abortion; also notes that the BMA has reported similar problems, particularly among younger doctors with ethical objections; regards the present move by the Department of Health as changing the law by stealth through amending regulations; and calls on the Government to recognise that the abortion law was never intended to allow abortion on demand to which young doctors are increasingly averse, and to safeguard women by imposing proper controls on the implementation of the law rather than allowing those with financial interests a free rein as at present.