The anti-vaccination movement that gripped Victorian England

BBC News

Greig Watson

The distrust of doctors and government that feeds the anti-vaccination movement might be seen as a modern phenomenon, but the roots of today’s activism were put down well over a century ago.

In the late 19th Century, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in opposition to compulsory smallpox vaccinations. There were arrests, fines and people were even sent to jail.

Banners were brandished demanding “Repeal the Vaccination Acts, the curse of our nation” and vowing “Better a felon’s cell than a poisoned babe”. Copies of hated laws were burned in the streets and the effigy was lynched of the humble country doctor who was seen as to blame for the smallpox prevention programme. . . [Full text]

‘Abortion skills’ training for medics prompts concerns for pro-life students

Christian Today

Staff Writer

The Christian Institute has raised concerns about the right to conscientious objection after the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) said it would teach and assess “abortion skills”. 

In its ‘Better for Women’ document, the RCOG is calling on the General Medical Council (GMC) to “review the Undergraduate medical curriculum to include the importance of abortion care to students”. . .

The RCOG added it would “teach abortion skills as a part of its core curriculum and assess those skills through examination”. . . [Full text]

UK government opens consultation on proposed N Ireland abortion law

Catholic News Agency

London, England, Nov 5, 2019 / 07:01 pm (CNA).- The British government launched Monday a public consultation on a proposed framework for the legal provision of abortion in Northern Ireland. It proposes that elective abortions be available up to 12 or 14 weeks gestation.

“With a legal duty now placed on the Government to change the abortion law in Northern Ireland, this consultation focuses on what new regulatory framework must be put in place for lawful access to abortion services in Northern Ireland,” Julian Smith, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, wrote in a foreword to the consultation begun Nov. 4. . .[Full text]

Midwives issued advice on abortion care in Northern Ireland

Midwives and other healthcare professionals have no statutory right to conscientious objection

Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland midwives who object to providing abortion care have been advised by their professional body to inform their management as soon as possible.

The new arrangements mean that women will not be criminalised for seeking an abortion and midwives and other healthcare professionals will not be criminally prosecuted for providing abortion services.

However, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said that at the moment, “midwives and other healthcare professionals continue to have no statutory right to conscientious objection”. . . . [Full text]