According to the Telegraph, the unannounced inspections of abortion clinics yesterday revealed that in several, piles of abortion forms were pre-signed.
Apart from noting that I am not surprised (and I shouldn’t think anyone else is, despite Andrew Lansley’s ‘shock horror' protestations) I think that this is worthy of comment.
For although I am not surprised, it is in fact a very grave issue. Parliament has laid down stringent conditions; Doctors are bound by that and by the professional standards one expects or them; yet here they are flagrantly breaking both the spirit and the letter of the law.
Moreover, the lack of surprise itself is worth unpicking. At a superficial level, it is simply because we all know that we have, de facto though not de jure, abortion on demand in this country.
But I think the more profound level is the intuitive understanding that a doctors who so compromise their profession, indeed their vocation, as to undertake abortions on the flimsy grounds allowed for by the Abortion Act, have already compromised their integrity. They may genuinely believe that what they are doing is good and right, but to have reached that state of subjective certainty, they have had to abandon the ethics laid down in the Hippocratic oath. So we are not surprised when they see other ethical considerations, such as breaking the law and denying women the protection and support which the law is designed to offer them, as simply bureaucratic details which can be conveniently brushed aside.
And astonishingly, they risk their professional lives in their arrogance: in theory (though I bet it won't come to this) they could be struck off by the GMC for this. How could they do this? Again, I think once people start playing God, they take on more and more characteristics of the role - to their ultimate undoing.
However, my fear is that this latest scandal will actually be used to promote the pro-abortion cause politically: the cry will be that the law is out of step with society, medical opinion and current practice, and so needs to be reformed.
We must pray for our doctors and our politicians, as well as for all other affected by the scourge of abortion.