Calls to scrap second abortion signature

Proposals to scrap the need for two doctors' signatures to give permission for an abortion have been welcomed by women's health experts. Amendments to the Abortion Act of 1967 have been tabled for debate in the Commons this autumn.

The debate was originally scheduled to have taken place last month but was delayed.

Professor Wendy Savage, from the group Doctors for a Woman's Choice on Abortion, said that many doctors would be relieved not to have to sign the forms.

'This amendment recognises that ultimately it is down to the woman to decide if she wants an abortion, not the doctor.'

Dr Sarah Jarvis, RCGP spokeswoman for women's health, said: 'It is a highly contentious area but I don't think it is a bad thing to only need one signature. It will not put GPs at risk of legal action because it is likely that hospital doctors will be signing most of the abortion forms.'

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