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Abortion clinic checks 'politically driven'

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The chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) has said that the health secretary's ordering of unannounced inspections at abortion clinics in England is "politically driven".

Ann Furdei was speaking after news that Health Secretary Andrew Lansley had told the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to carry out checks at abortion clinics to find out whether the legal requirement for two doctors to approve each abortion was being followed correctly.

She told the Today programme's James Naughtie that while she "completely agrees" that abortion clinics should "open our doors" to inspection, she said it was "absolutely wrong for the government to order the CQC to abandon all of the other work, in order to prioritise inspections of 500 clinics" spending up to five hours going through paperwork.

Mrs Furedi said that before an abortion takes place two doctors have to sign to say that the woman meets the legal requirements to have an abortion "in the best interests of her health" and doctors should not be pre-signing forms as has been found.

She insisted that there is nothing different about the way doctors are practising now than five or ten years ago.


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