Today, the Guardian reported that the Home Office has threatened to send a heavily pregnant woman to Rwanda.
In response to the news, Dr Eddie Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), said:
“I urge the Home Office to take urgent action to ensure that this heavily pregnant woman is immediately settled in safe accommodation in the UK for the remainder of her pregnancy and following the birth of her child.
“We are fundamentally opposed on ethical and medical grounds to the introduction of offshore processing and detention of asylum seekers. As is now evident, the policy is extraordinarily disruptive to women’s access to safe antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care, and will ultimately lead to poorer outcomes for women and their babies.
"This policy is in direct contravention to the UK Government’s stated ambitions to address ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in maternity care and halve rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths by 2025. This political interference in medical decision-making is desperately frustrating for everyone who works to improve outcomes in maternity care.
“The safest time to fly in pregnancy is before 37 weeks, with most airlines not allowing women to fly if they are more heavily pregnant than this. If the Home Office persists with the deportation of a woman who is heavily pregnant, this shows an egregious disregard for her health.”
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