British Govt Ordered to Disclose Number of Abortions Done on Disabled Babies

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 15, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Govt Ordered to Disclose Number of Abortions Done on Disabled Babies

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 15
, 2009

London, England ( — A pro-life group has won its case to get the British government to disclose how many abortions are done on disabled unborn children. The government has been ordered by the Information Commissioner to publish the data after the ProLife Alliance brought a case.

The government must report the abortion numbers next month after a complex legal battle that began six years prior.

The battle began when two doctors did an abortion on a baby with a cleft palate and were not prosecuted for doing so.

The case was uncovered when pro-life advocates discerned it form official abortion records. Since then, the figures have been sketchy and it is not possible to determine if babies are being killed specifically because they have some sort of potentially minor disability.

The Information Tribunal, in its ruling, indicated it was satisfied that the personal information concerning the abortion would not be made public from statistics alone. It said the potential "is so remote that disclosure of the disputed information would not be unwarranted," calling it "very unlikely."

The Pro Life Alliance told it is pleased by the decision.

"The ProLife Alliance was today informed that we have won a case in the Information Tribunal against the Department of Health and have therefore obtained the right to full disclosure of statistics relating to abortion," Julianna Tolan said.

"This is a significant victory for the pro-life movement given the emphasis in the judgement of how serious abortion is and therefore the need for transparency in order to satisfy a legitimate public interest," Tolan added.

Abortion advocates came under fire for supporting the abortion merely because of the cleft palate, which can be corrected with minor surgery.

“It is very clear that in this particular issue there was a case of severe disability and the doctors were acting legally," Abortion Rights director Anne Quesney told the British press.

The police reopened an inquiry into the case following a judicial review sought by the Reverend Joanna Jepson, who grew up with the facial condition and has a brother with Down’s Syndrome.
Jepson’s lawyers argued that the abortion could not be justified under Britain’s 1967 Abortion Act.

But Jim England, the chief crown prosecutor for West Mercia CPS, said the doctors involved had decided there was a “substantial risk" that the baby would be “seriously handicapped" if it were born.

England told the British press, “This complaint has been investigated most thoroughly by the police and the CPS has considered a great deal of evidence before reaching its decision."

The CPS concluded that there was “no offense committed in the circumstances of this case."

Related web sites:
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