by Steven Ertelt
March 10, 2008
London, England (LifeNews.com) — New reports from the British government show the European nation has set a new record for the number of late-term abortions, or those abortions done after the baby is 20 weeks or more along. The nearly 3,000 such abortions represented a 44 percent increase over the number of late-term abortions 10 years ago.
Late-term abortions increased from 2,041 in 1997 to 2,948 in 2006.
The figures showed more of the abortions were for social rather than medical reasons and 25 percent were done because the parts did not want a baby who might be physically or mentally disabled.
Ann Furedi, the chief executive of the pro-abortion British Pregnancy Advisory Service apologized for the record-setting numbers in comments to the London Sunday Telegraph.
"Sometimes it is about women who are living very out-of-control lives, often with alcohol or drug problems, and sometimes it’s about women whose lives have suddenly changed, whose guy has suddenly left them, so that a wanted pregnancy becomes unwanted," she said.
Furedi said the record numbers weren’t a problem and said many women are better off having abortions than keeping the baby.
Furedi described the rise as "not necessarily bad news" given that "these are the very women for whom it would be a disaster if they were compelled to continue unwanted pregnancies.
On the other hand, leading physician Dr. Trevor Stammers told the Daily Mail newspaper that the record number or late-term abortions came because the government has lessened concerns about abortions and promoted promiscuity.
He said government officials have made abortion akin to having an appendix out" and blamed "a very casual attitude towards sex, which is aided and abetted by the medical profession.
Women get the idea it’s a trivial matter and as a result they are much more cavalier about presenting to their GP late, he added.
The figures also come at the same time as new figures show improvements in helping babies survive premature birth as early as 22 weeks into pregnancy.
University College London Hospital published research last month showing that the survival rate for babies born between 22 and 25 weeks of pregnancy has risen from 32 percent to 71 percent during the last two decades.
They also come as MPs are considering amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill to prevent late-term abortions and limit them to 21-22 weeks into pregnancy.