BBC to Air Report Directly From Local Abortion Clinic

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 23, 2012   |   1:51PM   |   Washington, DC

The BBC will be airing a controversial radio report directly from a local abortion clinic in an episode that pro-life advocates worry will come across as positive public relations for the abortion business.

BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Victoria Derbyshire will host an edition of her show from a local abortion facility next month and interview abortion practitioners, staff, and women having abortions. The Independent newspaper says the abortion clinic has agreed to the broadcast and will likely be identified in the program. The newspaper reports:

The show is likely to attract controversy both because of the polarizing nature of the subject matter and the fact that the Department of Health is investigating issues highlighted by undercover newspaper reporters who recently filmed doctors agreeing to carry out terminations apparently on the basis of the gender of the unborn babies.

The broadcast comes as the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, Britain’s largest provider of abortion services, finds itself the victim of thousands of attempts to hack into its computers.

Britain’s abortion clinics have felt themselves under attack since February when reporters from The Daily Telegraph accompanied pregnant women into clinics and filmed doctors agreeing to terminations after they were told the mother did not want the baby because of its gender. Derbyshire said the BBC’s decision to make the program was linked to the controversy and the claims that, although the sector is regulated, “some people weren’t following those rules”. She said: “[The clinics] were all very nervous because of that undercover investigation. We have visited the clinic and explained exactly what we wanted to do.”

Derbyshire told The Independent:  “We have asked an abortion clinic for permission to broadcast and they have agreed. We appreciate the sensitivity around it and I would hope listeners would trust us to do it carefully.” She said she believed the program would “give us an insight into an area of British life which is taboo”.

She told the newspaper the purpose of the show is not to investigate the different points of view on abortion but to provide “insights” on what happens in an abortion clinic.

“What we want to do is talk to everybody involved who works in a clinic – the receptionist, the doctors, the consultants, the counselors, and, if patients agree, we will talk to them,” she said.

But pro-life advocates are dubious, with LIFE spokesman Mark Bhagwandin saying, “We have to wonder about the objectives behind this program. The BBC position that it wants to do this show because abortion is taboo is most baffling, when we consider there are over 500 abortions performed every day.”

He said the BBC was providing “free advertising” at a time when abortion facilities are “reeling from recent allegations of improper conduct”.

“We strongly urge the BBC not to proceed with this program.”

Two abortion practitioners in England have been suspended for their roles in facilitating illegal sex-selection abortions as exposed by a recent undercover investigation the London Telegraph newspaper led.

The London Telegraph released a front-page expose‘ revealing how abortion practitioners in England are doing illegal late-term abortions under the radar and outside even the hardly-stringent abortion guidelines there. h

“Doctors at British clinics have been secretly filmed agreeing to terminate fetuses purely because they are either male or female. Clinicians admitted they were prepared to falsify paperwork to arrange the abortions even though it is illegal to conduct such “sex-selection” procedures,” the newspaper reported. “The Daily Telegraph carried out an investigation into sex-selection abortions after concerns were raised that the procedures were becoming increasingly common for cultural and social reasons. Acting on specific information, undercover reporters accompanied pregnant women to nine clinics in different parts of the country. In three instances doctors were recorded offering to arrange terminations after being told the mother-to-be did not want to go ahead with the pregnancy because of the sex of the unborn child.”

In February, the London Daily Mail newspaper reported Prabha Sivaraman, who works for private clinics and NHS hospitals in Manchester and told one woman who claimed she had a test showing she was having a girl “I don’t ask questions. If you want a termination, you want a termination” has been suspended.