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This online Learning Network provides members with information and support around Quality Improvement (QI), an evidence-based approach that helps primary care free up time to deliver and evaluate initiatives, and embed new approaches more effectively and efficiently into practice.

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RCGP to support decriminalisation of abortion

The decision was based on a poll of members and consultation with local Faculties.

More than 4,400 members from across the UK responded to the consultation*. They were asked whether the RCGP should have a position on the decriminalisation of abortion and what position they thought the College should take: 62% said that the RCGP should support the decriminalisation of abortion; 19% said that the RCGP should oppose the decriminalisation of abortion; 15% said that the RCGP should have a neutral position on decriminalisation, and 4% abstained.

Of the 21 College Faculties that responded to the consultation, none said that the RCGP should oppose the decriminalisation of abortion, 11 supported the motion for the RCGP to support the decriminalisation of abortion, two said that the College should be neutral on the issue, and eight abstained.

The College did not ask members about the term limits on, or the morality of, abortion.

The College will now work with partners across the health sector, including the BMA, the Royal College of Nursing, Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health, the Royal College of Midwives and others, to call for the decriminalisation of abortion across the UK.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "This is an incredibly sensitive topic, but it's essential that we engage in debate and hear what our members have to say on all issues facing modern healthcare. 

"It speaks to the strength of feeling of our members that we had such a good response rate to our consultation. The quality of the feedback has been hugely valuable in helping us form an official position on the decriminalisation of abortion.

"Ultimately, this is about providing non-judgemental care to our patients so that women who face the difficult decision to proceed with an abortion are not disadvantaged by the legal system."


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