by Steven Ertelt
November 26, 2004
London, England (LifeNews.com) — Just days after a British newspaper exposed a scandal involving a U.K. abortion business that was sending British women to Spain for extremely late-term abortions, abortion advocates say they want laws limiting late-term abortions expanded. Pro-life groups are upset by the call and say such abortions will hurt women.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, which performs about 25 percent of all abortions in England, wants to push back the limits on abortions performed at 20 weeks of pregnancy.
BPAS argues that some women don’t find out they are pregnant until after 20 weeks of pregnancy, even though pregnancy tests can show results much earlier.
"We’re going to argue that there are very good reasons why women require abortions up to the legal time limit," said Ann Furedi, director of BPAS.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) objects to making late-term abortions easier to obtain.
Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary, said it was disingenuous to suggest expanding the late-term abortion law because “BPAS is already under investigation regarding serious allegations that they have been complicit in illegal late abortions."
Tully refers to a newspaper investigation where a British doctor admitted to arranging for the abortion of a woman who was more than 30 weeks pregnant at an abortion facility in Spain. News of other illegal abortions last month prompted the British government to investigate and pro-life groups to cry foul.
Saroj Adlakha told the London Telegraph newspaper that she coordinated an abortion for an 18 year-old woman in Barcelona, Spain on the advise of BPAS.
In secretly taped video footage recorded by the London newspaper, Adlakha is shown lying to a hospital over the telephone, claiming to have a patient "in severe pain" in order to obtain information needed from the British government to send the woman to Spain.
The Telegraph also reports that very late term abortions, as much as 32 weeks, are being performed undercover.
“For BPAS to suggest that late abortion should be more readily available is rather like someone accused of theft saying that shoplifting should be made easier," Tully said.
"In law, abortions are supposed to be done only for medical reasons: BPAS has been flouting the law for many years," Tully added.
Despite the investigation and outrage it has produced, BPAS said the issue is women not being able to have abortions late in pregnancy.
"The real scandal of late abortions is that women well within the legal time limit cannot access services because there are too few providers," BPAS’s Furedi said.
Furedi said her abortion business turns away more than 100 women every year because it is too late to perform a legal abortion.
Tully said his group is concerned that BPAS is ignoring the medical damage such late-term abortions can have on women. He noted abortion has been linked to infertility, breast cancer, sleeping disorders, and alcohol and substance abuse.
“Their insensitivity is all the more crass given the serious damage inflicted on many women by abortion," Tully explained. "BPAS seems ready to subject ever more women to these risks, disregarding the medical as well as legal drawbacks of abortion."
Less than 3,000 abortions out of 20,000 are carried out after 20 weeks of pregnancy in Britain.
Related web sites:
SPUC – https://www.spuc.org.uk