British Government Wants to Withhold Late Abortion Numbers

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 18, 2011   |   1:54PM   |   London, England

The British government is facing accusations that it is planning to cover up the frequent reports the national health department typically puts out about abortions, including abortions done late in pregnancy.

The government has filed a lawsuit with the High Court to keep secret the details concerning late abortions because of fears that individual women having abortions late in pregnancy will somehow be revealed. According to the London Daily Mail, the The Department of Health is challenging a decision the Information Tribunal handed down in October 2009 saying freedom of information laws require all of the abortion statistics to be released — and none of them contain any information to identify any people specifically.

The ProLife Alliance made the request two years ago for the abortion statistics to be made public because it was concerned rules on abortions were not being followed in order to allow for abortions on babies with minor medical issues like a cleft palate or club foot, that can easily be corrected with surgery.

The newspaper indicated attorney James Eadie appeared before the court for the Department of Health and asked for the decision to be overturned and argued there is sufficient abortion data in the public domain to allow for a public debate on abortion.

“There is no sensible case that publication of statistics carrying any risk of identification is warranted,” he said.

But a representative of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) told LifeNews today that the government is wrong to try to cover-up abortion statistics.

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC’s communications manager, commented: “We are very concerned by any attempt at secrecy by the government regarding abortion. It is absolutely vital for the future protection of both unborn children and women that there is complete transparency in official statistics. Secrecy will only serve those doctors authorizing or performing abortions outside the terms of the law, which is already a widespread practice.”

“The fact that the case relates to statistics on the severity of disabilities among aborted unborn children is not strictly relevant to the moral issue. All unborn children, whatever their physical or mental state, have an equal right to life, confirmed by international human rights law,” he said. “So we should not be asking whether cleft palate is a more or less severe disability, but why the government wants to cover up the facts about which babies it is aborting and why.”

“The argument for transparency is all the stronger because nearly all abortions for disability are paid for by the taxpayer, and unlike most NHS procedures, they are not done to achieve any health benefit, but to cut the cost of caring for disabled people,” Ozimic concluded.