Monica Lennon urges Jason Leitch and Gregor Smith to fact check John Mason abortion comments

Monica Lennon has urged the chief medical officer and national clinical director to give assurances there is no evidence to support John Mason’s claims on abortion care.

Monday, 9th May 2022, 3:40 pm

It comes after the MSP for Glasgow Shettleston claimed some healthcare providers in Scotland are “pushing abortion without laying out the pros and cons”.

Mr Mason also told The Scotsman he believes there is "considerable scepticism" around whether “informed consent” – required for all medical procedures – is sought by medical staff around abortions.

In a letter to Jason Leitch and Gregor Smith on Monday, Monica Lennon has asked for clarity on whether Mr Mason’s claims have any evidence to back them up.

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Monica Lennon has urged the chief medical officer Gregor Smith and national clinical director Jason Leitch to give assurances there is no evidence to support John Mason’s claims on abortion care.

The Labour MSP for Central Scotland wrote: “Considering your own roles and responsibilities as Chief Medical Officer and National Clinical Director, I seek your assurances that there is no evidence to support Mr Mason’s claims.

"Remarks of this nature by a Member of the Scottish Parliament are significant and influential, and I know from my own correspondence that many members of the public feel alarmed that anti-abortion protests and rhetoric are on the rise.”

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John Mason claims 'considerable scepticism' about informed consent sought by med...

Ms Lennon added: “Women and people accessing abortion healthcare, and the staff who provide that vital care, need to be able to do so without being harassed or intimidated.

"Please advise what your assessment is of Mr Mason’s claims, and what action the Scottish Government is taking to ensure everyone who needs abortion healthcare in Scotland can access it, at a time and place that is right for them."

A midwife at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow – which has seen a significant rise in anti-abortion protests – Leah Hazard told The Scotsman she can give the public a “100% guarantee” abortion procedures are discussed at length with patients and informed consent is often sought many times.

The midwife and author said: “The women’s feelings are of course discussed and considered at every step.

"These comments from the SNP are absolutely anathema to the fundamental principles of midwifery and maternity care in general and I can guarantee the public those comments and the assumptions on which they are based are unequivocally wrong.

"This man is an elected official and people who are not familiar with the realities of abortion care might well assume these comments are founded on fact.”