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British Approach to the Regulation of Abortion Essay

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What do you consider to be the Strengths and Weaknesses of the British Approach to the Regulation of Abortion?

Abortion is a procedure carried out to terminate a pregnancy. In 1967, liberal Member of Parliament David Steel introduced the Abortion Act. This legally permitted abortion to be carried out by a medical practitioner in England, Scotland and Wales (Glennerster 2000). Since the implementation of this policy, numbers of abortion have gradually increased. In 2010 almost two hundred thousand procedures were carried out in England and Wales, ninety-six per cent of which were funded by the National Health Service (Department of Health 2011). To access the strengths and weaknesses of abortion regulation a number of areas must be considered. Following a brief section about the background and development of abortion policy, the legal requirement of two doctor consent will be discussed. Repercussions of this legality will be used to justify why the requirement is considered an outdated obligation that weakens abortion regulation. The extent of abortion provision will then be argued as a weakness by sending a troubling message to society. This will interconnect with the need for restrictions in abortion provision, a concept supported by the further discussion of related health risks. Counterarguments will then consider the procedure step by step and suggest that regulations enable a process efficient and suitable for both the hospital and patient. Finally, medicalisation will be discussed as the most prominent strength of the British approach to abortion in regards to safety.

When looking at the development of abortion policy, it is clear that it has always been a subject of controversy. Campaigns for the legalisation of...


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...rvices as a cause of the sexual attitudes, patterns and trends existent in society today. Undoubtedly, a multitude of wider factors are to blame. The extent of availability has also been deemed a weakness due to potential health complications. However, no medical advance or regulation reform can rid a procedure of risk. From looking at the strengths of the approach, it is clear that regulations inflict little disruption on the lives of patients. Most importantly, the British approach to abortion eliminates any desire or need to undergo an unsafe termination. Changing regulations in regards to restrictions of abortions may undermine this strength which may cause the re-emergence of high maternal mortality rates. Therefore, the strengths overpower any of the aforementioned weaknesses. The British approach to the regulation of abortion is in no serious need of reform.


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