U.K. Television Station Will Show Early Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 4, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

U.K. Television Station Will Show Early Abortion

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 4, 2004

London, England (LifeNews.com) — For the first time ever on British television, viewers will be able to see an abortion being performed. The television station will also show the deceased body of the unborn child and images of abortions that it had previously banned a pro-life group from airing.

Channel 4 is set to air the program "My Foetus" at the end of the month. According to British news reports, it will show a woman who is four weeks pregnant having a vacuum pump abortion. The body of the unborn child will then be shown to viewers.

The show will also includes images of abortions performed at 10 and 21 weeks into pregnancy and the more fully formed bodies of the babies that died as a result.

The Pro-Life Alliance, a British political group, had asked the television station to show the images previously and it, and the BBC and ITV, all refused. That decision led the group to take the station to court and a version of its commercials without the images was approved for airing.

Julia Millington, the group’s political director, supported showing the images, but said, "There is an element of hypocrisy. When pro-lifers want to show these images, their freedom of speech is curtailed by both broadcasters and the courts

The station defends their decision to air the program saying that the images are associated with a larger context of discussing the abortion debate in general — rather than simply showing a pro-life commercial.

"The pro-life film contained 23 images, many repeated, in a four-minute film," Prash Naik, the channel’s head of legal affairs, told the London Observer newspaper. "This film uses four images in a 30-minute film which carefully explains the issues. It is very, very different."

The Observer is the only media outlet to have been shown the film in advance.

Julia Black, an independent filmmaker, said she chose to include the images because "they represent the reality." She is the daughter of the founder of England’s largest abortion business, Marie Stopes International.

The abortion in the movie took place at a Marie Stopes abortion facility in London.

Black, who had an abortion in her early 20s, told the Observer newspaper that abortion advocacy groups need to know how to combat graphic pictures of aborted babies.

The show will be aired at 11PM to make sure children are not watching and warnings will appear beforehand.

More than 180,000 abortions are done annually in the U.K., including many on Irish women traveling from their home country, which prohibits most abortions. One in five pregnancies ends in abortion.