British Court Holds Hearing on Illegal Late-Term Abortion Case

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 21, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Court Holds Hearing on Illegal Late-Term Abortion Case Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 21, 2005

London, England ( — A British court held the first hearing on a case in which a British doctor is accused of evading British law restricting late-term abortions by sending a woman to Spain two years ago for a late-term abortion there.

Saroj Adlakha, 59, is accused of arranging the abortion for Shilpa Abrol, who was 31 weeks pregnant at the time. For the first time, British news reports say Abrol is Adlakha’s daughter.

Abrol, now 20, and Adlakha, were charged with conspiracy to commit an offense against a person outside the United Kingdom.

According to a BBC report, both women appeared at a Birmingham Magistrates’ Court and the face charges connected with the abortion, performed sometime between July and December 2003.

They were both granted conditional bail and the case will be heard at Birmingham Crown Court on December 30.

Prosecutor Sadie Waits said Adlakha has a medical practice at King’s Health.

Adlakha admitted she coordinated an abortion for the woman in Barcelona, Spain on the advise of British Pregnancy Advisory Service officials.

She told undercover journalists for the London Telegraph newspaper that she would help arrange a similar abortion for a woman who is 29 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby. Adlakha also said she would provide a pre-abortion exam and provide followup care after the abortion.

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.

John Reid, the British Health Secretary ordered Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer to look into the situation. Donaldson was ready to release his report, but police told him to wait because they were looking to charge Adlakha in the case.

The investigation came after another sting operation conducted by the Telegraph showing that BPAS, which receives $12 billion British pounds annually from the federal government, advised women to have illegal abortions at the Spanish abortion facility. Such abortions are prohibited after 24 weeks into the pregnancy.

Staff at the British office where Adlakha works confessed to the Telegraph that they manipulate paperwork to make the abortions appear legal.

Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS, said last month that the abortion business was not breaking the law.

According to the Birmingham Post newspaper, Furedi said BPAS was "simply providing women with international contacts to clinics."

Pro-life groups in the U.K. want BPAS to be completely investigated.

Paul Tully of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) said the BPAS situation "demonstrates the attitude of abortion providers to the law — illegal late abortions are being done on purely social grounds."

Approximately eighty percent of the abortions done at the Spanish abortion business are performed on British women.