British Religious Official Criticizes Abortions on Babies With Club Feet

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 30, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Religious Official Criticizes Abortions on Babies With Club Feet Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 30, 2006

London, England ( — A British religious official who earlier spoke out on abortions of children with cleft palates is speaking out about new reports showing abortions there on children who have clubbed feet. The condition is operable and not life-threatening and Rev. Joanna Jepson says such abortions should be illegal.

She accused doctors of pressuring women to have abortions when unborn children are diagnosed with any physical or mental disability.

"Women shouldn’t be put in the position where they are under pressure to abort from the medical profession," she told the Birmingham Post newspaper.

Jepson, the curate of St. Michael’s Church in Chester, told the paper, "The law is supposed to be protecting the vulnerable but the rights of the vulnerable are being impinged upon."

"It’s completely illegal to be aborting babies for this kind of disability, and it’s vital that it stops," she added. "It’s not a case of how many. One baby being aborted because it has a club foot or webbed fingers is illegal and immoral."

Jepson was born with a jaw defect that was surgically corrected in her late teens. Last year she lost a legal campaign to prosecute two doctors who did an abortion on a 28-week old unborn baby who had a cleft palate.

She urged members of parliament to put more limits on late-term abortions and abortions of babies with disabilities.

"With these latest figures, I would make a call for Parliament and politicians and the medical profession to put a stop to it," she told the Post. "They are the ones who have responsibility for allowing this to happen."

Jepson said she would not launch another legal battle to stop the abortions but said more pressure should be put on MPs to change the law. British law allows abortions in cases where the baby is seriously handicapped but Jepson says a cleft palate or clubbed foot shouldn’t fall under that category.

A previous report showed British doctors have pressured mothers and parents to have abortions in cases where the baby has Down syndrome.