British Doctor Faces Hearing for Daughter’s Illegal Late-Term Abortion in Spain
by Steven Ertelt
January 5, 2010
London, England (LifeNews.com) — A British doctor who evaded the law by arranging an illegal late-term abortion in Spain for her 31-week pregnant daughter is facing a medical hearing. Saroj Adlakha reportedly paid a Barcelona, Spain abortion business 3,200 euros for her daughter’s 2003 abortion.
Adlakha was charged in December 2005 of evading British law restricting late-term abortions to 24 weeks by sending her teenage daughter Shilpa Abrol for the abortion.
The physician admitted she coordinated an abortion for Abrol in Barcelona, Spain on the advice of British Pregnancy Advisory Service officials. Yet, she was never convicted because the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the charges after not being able to prove they were valid.
Adlakha faced a GMC hearing yesterday on professional charges of irresponsible, inappropriate and dishonest misconduct.
The London Telegraph indicates Adlakha bought airline tickets to Barcelona days after her daughter was turned away from the Calthorpe Clinic for an abortion.
The hearing also heard how she told her receptionist that she understood she could lose her medical license for evading the law.
"She must have been very well aware of the seriousness and the potential consequences to her as a doctor," Heather Norton, representing the GMC, told the tribunal, according to the newspaper. "The mere fact, we would suggest, that Dr Adlakha had to take her daughter out of the jurisdiction to obtain a termination, strongly suggests that, whether correctly or not, Dr Adlakha believed that it would not have been possible to obtain a lawful termination in this country."
The hearing also heard that Adlakha refused to turn over her daughter’s medical records for its investigation, which GMC attorneys called "fundamentally contrary to her obligations as a medical practitioner."
Adlakha, of Shilpa Medical Centre, in Kings Heath, was eventually suspended from the medical register by the General Medical Council and hasn’t been allowed to practice medicine for four years.
That forced the NHS, through the South Birmingham Primary Care Trust, to spend £600,000 while she was suspended on replacement physicians.
The case received attention after Adlakha told undercover journalists for the London Telegraph newspaper that she would help arrange a similar abortion for a woman who was 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 investigation came after another sting operation conducted by the Telegraph showing that BPAS, which receives $12 billion annually from the British 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 worked 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. wanted BPAS to be completely investigated, though that has not happened.
Paul Tully of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) said at the time that 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.
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