Sunday, October 21, 2007

Babies aborted for minor disabilities..

Babies aborted for minor disabilitiesFrom the TimesOnline in the UK:
MORE than 50 babies with club feet were aborted in just one area of England in a three-year period, according to new statistics.

Thirty-seven babies with cleft lips or palates and 26 with extra or webbed fingers or toes were also aborted.

The data have raised concerns about abortions being carried out for minor disabilities that could be cured by surgery.


In 2003 Joanna Jepson, a Church of England curate, instigated a legal challenge against West Mercia police for failing to prosecute doctors who carried out an abortion on a baby with a cleft palate at 28 weeks’ gestation. The challenge failed but raised public concerns over terminations for minor disabilities.

However, the latest figures — released by the South West Congenital Anomaly Register — show that dozens of abortions are still carried out after the condition is discovered.

Jepson, now vicar of St Peter’s church in Fulham, west London, said: “These figures raise grave questions about how the law is being implemented for babies diagnosed with a disability. I have strong doubts that the law is being used to protect the unborn.”

Pew Forum: Abortion Seen as Most Important Issue for Supreme CourtAlso, the Archbishop of Canterbury urges re-think on abortion:
... There were nearly 200,000 abortions in England and Wales in 2005, according to the Department of Health, and a recent survey by the medical journal Lancet reported that one-third of pregnancies in Europe ends in abortion.

There have been calls in Britain for the upper time limit on abortions to be shortened from 24 weeks to 21 weeks but a recent parliamentary bill on the matter was defeated.

The archbishop made no direct call for legislation to be tightened, but he pointed out the paradox he saw between those who campaign for greater "foetal rights", condemning women who smoke during pregnancy, but fail to speak out about abortion.

Abortion is a far less politicised issue in Britain than in the United States. However, several bills have been introduced in parliament in recent months by legislators looking to tighten restrictions and prompt women to think harder about the issue.

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