British Woman Under Police Probe for Possible Illegal Late-Term Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 21, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Woman Under Police Probe for Possible Illegal Late-Term Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 21
, 2007

London, England ( — An unnamed British doctor has prompted a police investigation following an abortion that may have been done more than a month after the legal limit there. Abortions are only supposed to be done up to 24 weeks of pregnancy in England and late-term abortions are reserved only for emergency health situations.

But it appears an abortion has been done on a healthy baby at 28 weeks into the pregnancy.

A 22 year-old woman went to the abortion practitioner for an abortion in February and was told that at 28 weeks an abortion to kill her baby would be illegal. The abortion practitioner referred her to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, an abortion business.

Several weeks later she returned to the abortion practitioner on another health-related matter and he noticed she was no longer pregnant. Asked about what happened to the baby, she said she "had it sorted privately."

After consulting with colleagues, the doctor notified police about the woman’s situation, suspecting an illegal late-term abortion had been done. He talked about the situation on a British web site that provides a discussion forum for physicians.

"I feel decidedly uneasy about what has happened here," he said. "It doesn’t seem right that, as far as her medical record is concerned, the baby vanished without explanation."

"For someone to have taken money to perform an illegal and damaging service cannot be condoned and if I let this go I am condoning it," he added.

There is no indication as to whether the woman had the abortion at a BPAS facility and Ann Furedi, chief executive of the abortion business, told the Evening Standard newspaper that no affiliated center would have done the abortion.

"I can state categorically-that, if her gestation was shown by a scan to be later than 23 weeks and five days, she would not be able to have her pregnancy terminated," Furedi said.

Pro-life advocate Julia Millington, of the Alive and Kicking campaign, told the Evening Standard her group is upset by what may have happened.

"Opposition to late abortion among the public, parliamentarians and the medical profession has never been stronger. This matter must be investigated by the police," she said.

Late-term abortions in England have become a hotbed of debate and members of the British parliament are set next month to start a second effort at making more of them illegal by reducing the limits on when they can be done.