Obstetrician and gynaecologist who campaigned for the reform of abortion law

David Paintin, who has died aged 88, will be remembered for his important work to achieve a liberal abortion law. A doctor and lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology at St Mary’s hospital, London, David also helped to develop current abortion services, including use of the abortion pill, in this country. A quiet man of excessive modesty, David was nevertheless a stubborn and resolute advocate with great foresight.

In the 1960s, he was a medical adviser to the formidable team of women who led the Abortion Law Reform Association (ALRA) in its campaign to legalise abortion. His clinical arguments that legal abortion was of benefit to both women and society were central in convincing the Liberal MP David Steel (now Lord Steel of Aikwood) to introduce the bill that became the Abortion Act of 1967.

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