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         July 2016


1607 image news

Chief Executive of RCM also involved with BPAS

Cathy Warwick, the Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives has caused uproar by announcing the organisation’s support of a campaign being run by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), without a consultation of its members. The campaign, called “We Trust Women” @, seeks to decriminalise abortion across the UK, effectively allowing abortion to take place up to the point of birth.  

Warwick has defended her actions in an article from The Telegraph, arguing that abortion care is “part” of a midwife’s job, they should “deal with the rough and the smooth” and insisting that the “’rights and wrongs’ of abortion should not be a consideration.”@  She has also written a piece for The Guardian, where she states she and the RCM are neither for nor against abortion, they are for women and the choices they make:

“[if] we are to be advocates for women then we must advocate for choice on all aspects of their care. I have heard coverage recently saying that the essence of a midwife is to be supporting the joyful arrival of a newborn baby into the world. Of course that is a huge part of our job, but it is much more than that: it is about being for women and about respecting their choices regarding their bodies. It is about supporting women through the good times and the bad.” @

Calls for Cathy Warwick to resign

The opinion that midwives should be there for women as advocates for their choice is not a new one for Warwick, using it when defending her decision to remain involved with BPAS – a leading provider of abortions in the UK - when she was appointed as CEO of RCM last year.@ Her involvement with BPAS is not mentioned on Warwick’s biography on the RCM website @, but has been picked up by a couple of media outlets @,@ and forms the basis of many calls for her to resign or step down from her position. In his call for her resignation, Dr Peter Saunders argues “The RCM used to stand for women’s and children’s health. Now it seems to deny the humanity of the preborn baby altogether.” @

In addition to calls for her resignation, Christian Concern has reported that MPs tabled a parliamentary motion which was expected to read This House condemns the move made by Cathy Warwick to campaign for the removal for all legal restrictions on abortion. We call for her resignation before the Royal College’s reputation is damaged further." @

As well as the reaction from parliament the midwives, whose opinions Warwick did not consult, have formed their own response called “Not In Our Name@ (as reported in May image news @).  One can sign a CitizenGo petition form (signed by over 42,000 people so far), or add one’s name to an open letter to Warwick, for members of the public and midwives (and other healthcare professionals) respectively.