MPs Must Stop The Campaign To End Abortion In Britain, Says fpa, UK
20 May 2008
Speaking ahead of the parliamentary vote on abortion taking place on Tuesday 20th May, Julie Bentley, Chief Executive, fpa said:
"If the time limit is reduced on Tuesday, abortion law in Britain will have reached the historic moment when it's cut loose from common consensus and medical opinion. MPs thinking of voting to cut the time limit to under 24 weeks must know they will be supporting a campaign whose end goal is to make abortion illegal in Britain. This path is already well - travelled in the USA, where more and more restrictions to abortion are enforced."
"A change in the 24 week time limit, will not just affect women in Britain, women in Northern Ireland denied access to abortion in their own country will be affected too. Women like Mary, whose real story is highlighted below, will have no choice but to face the trauma of giving birth to a baby that will only live a few minutes. The only outcome of a cut in the limit will be that the number of women across Britain and Northern Ireland forced into giving birth, will be greater than the number of babies surviving at 23 weeks."
Case study from fpa in Belfast, Northern Ireland
At a routine 20 week scan in a hospital in Northern Ireland, Mary and Chris' much-wanted baby was diagnosed with severe fetal abnormalities. The hospital told Mary that because all the staff are conscientious objectors, they would refuse to give her an abortion. Instead, they referred Mary to a hospital in another Northern Ireland city.
Following advanced diagnostic tests it became plain the baby was severely disabled and wouldn't live to make it out of the delivery room. The second city hospital also refused to give Mary an abortion - she was a referral they told her - and not their patient.
The midwife gave Mary fpa's number. Mary phoned fpa from a public phone box in the hospital corridor hysterical, distressed and completely isolated. After counselling, she decided to pay £2,000 for her and Chris to travel to London and pay for a private abortion. When she had her abortion, she was 23 weeks pregnant.