The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has condemned the department of health's new proposal for easier access to abortion-by-pill as signalling a lack of commitment to deliver on its promise to reduce abortions. Commenting on the proposals, Paul Tully, General Secretary of SPUC said: "The legal and medical conditions for abortions are widely flouted already and the department of health seems indifferent to the number of abortions if it can cut costs. Although it has been claimed that there is no cost-saving in providing medical, abortions rather than surgical procedures money is certainly the department,s key concern. "From the woman's point of view, accelerating the procedure is no help if she is wrestling with the ethical and practical dilemmas of the abortion decision on her own. Women undertake abortion for an infinite variety of reasons, but nearly always with great or very great reluctance. If the government was serious about cutting the abortion rate it would address the question of why so many women have abortions (500 every day), when it is the last thing that most of them want. Most women receive no proper counselling before an abortion, and the only bodies which offer free pregnancy counselling are pro-life groups. "With the abortion drugs, the woman is sent home where she will start bleeding and may abort the baby, often alone and without support. In the long term there is no evidence of better outcomes, physically or psychologically, through the use of abortion drugs rather than surgery. The bottom line is a dead baby, and that is no easier to come to terms with for the woman who has thought about it for a fortnight and taken a drug, than if she has prepared herself for six weeks and had an operation.
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