Number of abortions for fetal “abnormality” vastly underreported in England and Wales

By Dave Andrusko

Stephen Adams, medical correspondent, Daily Telegraph

Stephen Adams, medical correspondent, Daily Telegraph

About four paragraphs into the opening page of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” there are these never to be forgotten lines:

“There is no doubt that Marley was dead. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate.”

Conversely, nothing about the ugliness of the following story can be grasped without understanding that the law in England and Wales allows abortions on a variety of grounds up to 24 weeks but right up until the moment of birth for various “disabilities” loosely—very loosely—defined (the notorious “Ground E”).

But not only are there widespread grounds on which a very developed unborn baby can be destroyed, the number of babies aborted under Ground E is vastly underreported.

The headline on a story in the Daily Telegraph reads, “Cleft lip abortions ’10 times as common as reported’: More than 10 times as many abortions take place for cleft lip than are recorded in Department of Health statistics, according to European researchers.” The numbers are staggering—both in quantity and the reasons these unborn babies were killed.

According to Eurocat, “which was set up to register congenital abnormalities across 23 countries,” 157 babies were aborted for cleft lip and palate in England and Wales between 2006 and 2010. What figure does the Department of Health record? “Only 14,” according to the Telegraph’s medical correspondent, Stephen Adams.

The discrepancy for abortions for babies diagnosed to have club foot is even greater. Eurocat found 205 abortions for club foot over that same  five year time frame.

“Again, official records put the figure at much lower,” Adams writes. “Official figures show there only having been five such abortions in 2002, the last year in which club foot was recorded as a separate category.”

What can possible explain the vast undercount? “Sources of data.” Figures from the Department of Health come from the forms abortionists fill out. By contrast, “Eurocat tracks what happens once a foetus has been identified with an abnormality, with its data coming from foetal medicine specialists, ultrasonographers and genetic testing laboratories,” Adams explains.

What about babies found to have Down syndrome? In 2010 the official death count was 482. Joan Morris, national co-ordinator for Eurocat and professor of medical statistics at Queen Mary, University of London, said that the number was double—886!

“Babies are aborted for Down’s and they still don’t put that on the abortion form,” Morris told The Sunday Times, “so if they can’t do it for Down’s, why would they put cleft lip?”

It is very noteworthy that the photo of a pregnant woman that accompanies Adams’ story has this caption: “Abortion is legal in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy for disability reasons.” As explained above, abortion is legal up until birth “for disability reasons.”

Over at “Inquiry into Abortion on the Grounds of Disability – a chance to remove discriminatory laws?,” Philippa Taylor provides further background. Two quick points here.

First, these abortions make even the hardest of hardcore pro-abortionists talk sympathetically, before quickly going to their default position: any and all abortions are up to the woman.

As Taylor notes, Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, who is against ANY change in the law on abortion, conceded in an article written for the Daily Telegraph

‘We will all have different views on abortion for fetal abnormality. They are the most controversial of abortions and arguably the most tragic for often they involve wanted, planned-for pregnancies.’

Second, the advocacy group Saving Downs, penned an open letter to Furedi in which it said in response to the comment quoted above

“Please understand Ann, that a disability is not tragic. Disabled people are not tragic; they are our fellow human beings. Like all, they have inherent dignity and value – just like you and me. They are not defined by their difference, but by their humanity.

“Your attitude devalues the lives of all people with disabilities and indeed all human life, as none of us are perfect.”