Monday June 7, 2010

80 British IVF Babies Aborted per Year

By Hilary White

LONDON, June 7, 2010 ( – Figures released under Britain’s Freedom of Information Act show that an average of 80 children conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other artificial means of artificial procreation, are being aborted each year in England and Wales. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the government body that regulates artificial reproduction practices, has revealed that some of those aborted were conceived by IVF treatments funded by the country’s tax-funded medical system, the National Health Service (NHS).

Former conservative MP Ann Widdecombe said that the figures showed children are being treated like “designer goods.”

“If the law was applied properly, people wouldn’t be able to get an abortion just because they changed their minds,” Widdecombe said.

The figures show that about half of the abortions are performed out for mothers aged between 18 and 34, the age at which it is easier for women to conceive and carry children to term. The figures included those children aborted for “selective reduction,” in which one or more children are killed when too many embryos have survived implantation in the womb.

Prof. Bill Ledger, a member of the HFEA, said, “I had no idea there were so many post-IVF abortions and each one is a tragedy.”

IVF and other artificial means of procreation have been in use in Britain since the technique was pioneered with the birth of Louise Brown, touted in the media as the world’s “first” “test-tube baby,” in 1978. Since then, Britain has led the world in developing the new reproductive technologies, including cloning and genetic manipulation of embryos. The technologies have grown directly out of IVF research.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act was passed in 1990. By 1997, 1 in 80 children (1.2%) born in Britain was the result of IVF treatment.