British Doctor Won’t be Convicted in Illegal Late-Term Abortion Case

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 1, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Doctor Won’t be Convicted in Illegal Late-Term Abortion Case Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 1,

London, England ( — A doctor who was charged in December 2005 in a case of evading British law restricting late-term abortions by sending a woman to a late-term abortion center in Spain won’t be convicted. Instead, the Crown Prosecution Service has dropped the charges because it can’t establish that they are entirely valid.

Saroj Adlakha was accused of arranging the abortion for Shilpa Abrol, who was 31 weeks pregnant at the time. Abrol and Adlakha, were charged with conspiracy to commit an offense against a person outside the United Kingdom.

Unborn children are considered viable and able to live outside the mother’s womb as early as 22-24 weeks of pregnancy.

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

But CPS told the BBC it couldn’t establish a hard enough case to prosecute it fully.

"All efforts by the prosecution to establish the authenticity of records of the alleged late abortions through official channels with the Spanish authorities, and police inquiries elsewhere, were unsuccessful and led to the termination of this case," CPS said.

Adlakha, who continues to practice in Kings Heath, Birmingham, 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 in England.

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

Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS, said 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.