British Doctors Blast Use of Ultrasounds Showing Humanity of Unborn Babies

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 3, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Doctors Blast Use of Ultrasounds Showing Humanity of Unborn Babies Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 3
, 2006

London, England ( — A small group of British doctors is unhappy with where the abortion debate has gone following the internationally acclaimed pictures of unborn babies using a 4-D scanning ultrasound technique showing babies as early as 12 weeks into pregnancy "walking" and kicking.

Stuart Campbell, of the Create Health Clinic in London, devised the new technique and the impressive photographs have caused people worldwide to reconsider their views of the humanity of unborn children at the time when they are most likely to be targeted by abortion.

In England, they have aided pro-life groups, which are backing calls by some members of Parliament to revise limits to allow fewer late-term abortions.

But, a couple of doctors and scientists say the pictures are wrongly misleading people into thinking that babies at that stage of pregnancy are self-aware or viable.

Donald Peebles, of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at University College London, told the London Times that he had mixed emotions when he first saw the photos.

He said "this was a fantastic piece of technology that showed very clearly what we knew already about the fetus in a way that was comprehensible to the public."

“But there was also a temptation to associate these movements — sucking a thumb, gasping as if talking — with adult movements, to think it is sucking its thumb because it is happy," Peebles added. "It’s that feeling which I think is extraordinarily dangerous.”

Huseyin Mehmet, Reader in Developmental Neurobiology at Imperial College London, agreed and told the Times, "Personification of the fetus at that age is dangerous."

"I was worried when I saw those images," Mehmet added. "To suggest that an early fetus in utero has those kind of human qualities of being able to suck its thumb and move, that it meets the biological definition of being really viable outside the uterus, is very difficult indeed.”

Both pro-life and religious leaders want Britain to scale back its limit on late-term abortions from 24 weeks into pregnancy to 20 weeks in order to save the lives of viable unborn children.