Records of the Royal College of Midwives Interdepartmental Committee on Abortion

Scope and Content

This collection comprises minutes of the Interdepartmental Committee on Abortion formed by the Joint Council for Midwifery, together with minutes, correspondence, reports and research of the General Purposes Sub-Committee of Enquiry into Non-Therapeutic Abortions of the Royal College of Midwives (formally known as the Midwives Institute) (1936-1938), relating to the incidence of, and legislation on abortion in the United Kingdom.

Administrative / Biographical History

In response to a reported increase in the number of deaths caused by voluntary abortions, the Joint Council for Midwives established a Interdepartmental Committee 'to enquire into the incidence of abortions induced for non-medical reasons in different parts of the United Kingdom, and to consider what practical steps can be taken within the framework of existing law or by further legislation to combat this practice'.

The Royal College of Midwives (formally known as the Midwives Institute) was represented on the Interdepartmental Committee on Abortion by Edith Pye and Florence R Mitchell. Other organisations that the Joint Council for Midwives worked with during the subsequent enquiry, included the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the British Medical Association, the County Council Association, Association of Inspectors of Midwives and the National Birthday Trust Fund.

At the inaugural meeting of the Interdepartmental Committee on Abortion, it was resolved to set up a number of sub-committees to consider detailed aspects of the problem. As a result the first meeting of the General Purposes Sub-Committee of Enquiry into Non-Therapeutic Abortions, was held at the Royal College of Midwives on 21 November 1936, in order to 'collect and collate information for the purposes of the enquiry, and to make recommendations'.

Arrangement

The original order of material is retained, although where this is not possible the arrangement of files has been based on the functions and activities of the organisation as well as chronology, subject and the needs of users.

Conditions Governing Access

Permission is required for external access to records less than twenty years old. Also restrictions apply if material includes personal information of living individuals. All other records are open to research by appointment, Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. For further information about accessing the collection and visiting the reading room, please contact: archives@rcog.co.uk

Acquisition Information

There is no record of the source or date of acquisition before this material was deposited under the terms of a collection care agreement at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in May 2011.

Note

Catalogued by Clare Sexton, Project Archivist in accordance with ISAD(G).

Other Finding Aids

Further details of the contents of this collection are available on request.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright belongs to the Royal College of Midwives. To reproduce this material, please apply via the College Archivist: archives@rcog.co.uk

Custodial History

This collection was previously held at the Royal College of Midwives.