Marie Stopes Forced to Suspend Abortions Due to Danger to Women
Marie Stopes abortion clinics in Britain have suspended surgical abortions using anaesthetic or sedation for under-age girls and vulnerable women following an unannounced inspection by Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors who found patients could be at risk.
A number of other services offered by Marie Stopes International have also been halted to make sure patients are protected from potential harm when undergoing abortions.
The CQC said that the 250 women a week who were booked in for abortions would be sent elsewhere to “make sure they were protected from potential harm”.
The CQC said it could not be sure that staff had adequate levels of training and competence to administer sedatives and general anaesthetic. It also said it had immediate concerns about issues of consent.
Marie Stopes International said it had immediately suspended abortions for under 18s and vulnerable groups of women, as well as anyone undergoing a general anaesthetic or conscious sedation. All surgical abortions have been suspended in its Norwich Centre.
Marie Stopes International is required to keep the restrictions in place until it has assured the regulator it has appropriate systems in place to care for all of its patients safely. The Government has also informed the group that Ministers will not give approval for further clinics to offer abortion services until the CQC are satisfied that their concerns have been fully addressed.
Professor Edward Baker, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals at the Care Quality Commission, said that given the nature of the concerns identified during the inspections, it was right that the services should be suspended. “We will continue to monitor these services very closely and we will not hesitate to take further action, if needed,” he added.
Last June, a doctor and two nurses at a Marie Stopes service had charges of manslaughter against them dropped arising out of the death of a woman who travelled from Dublin for an abortion in one of its clinics.
Aisha Chithira (32) bled to death in a taxi in 2012 after having the procedure. They were formally acquitted of the charges of manslaughter by gross negligence.
RTÉ. August 20. The Daily Telegraph. August 20. Irish Independent. August 23.