Health Secretary Shona Robison is refusing to co-operate with Westminster on the clause.
Scotland’s NHS is set to boycott the “barbaric” Tory rape clause.
Health Secretary Shona Robison has written to the UK Government refusing to co-operate with the “terrible policy” and demanding an urgent rethink “before serious harm is done” to rape victims and their families.
She vowed not to distribute Whitehall guidance to Scots NHS workers on how to implement the policy – raising serious questions about how it can operate here in practice.
The Tories want to save money by limiting tax credits to the first two children in every family – with an exception for women who have a child as a result of rape.
But to claim, victims would have to convince a “professional third party” – health workers, police, social workers or rape charities – that they were telling the truth about their ordeal.
The plan has caused outrage. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has branded it “inhumane, disgusting and barbaric” and charities including Rape Crisis Scotland and Scottish Women’s Aid are refusing to “collude” with it.
Robison has now made it clear that the Scottish NHS will informally boycott the policy. In a letter to Employment Minister Damien Hinds and Treasury Secretary David Gauke, she said it would never be acceptable “to require a woman to disclose she has been raped in order to access social security”.