LONDON, October 19, 2004 ( – John Reid, the UK’s Health Secretary has ordered Britain’s Chief Medical Officer to open an investigation into illegal referrals by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) of women for late-term abortions in Spain.

An investigation by the Telegraph newspaper found the organization is referring women to a late term abortion facility in Spain where abortion is also illegal after 22 weeks. The Telegraph revealed last week what it calls an “horrific underground industry” for late term abortions on healthy babies.

Sir Liam Donaldson, Britain’s Chief Medical Officer, was contacted by Dr Reid, after he had watched the covert video and audio surveillance evidence released by the Telegraph. Sir Liam will conduct an inquiry into the findings—a move rarely undertaken by so senior an official. “Having received the evidence, I am now asking Sir Liam Donaldson to investigate this matter,” Dr. Reid said in a statement released Saturday.  A Telegraph reporter, pregnant with a perfectly healthy 26-week child, went undercover telling several advisors with (BPAS) that she wanted to abort her child. In each case she was referred to Clinica Ginemedex in Barcelona to which she traveled. The clinic did an ultrasound on the reporter and agreed to do the abortion with no questions asked. Staff at the Barcelona facility admitted to falsifying paperwork saying that they “play with the law so it’s not completely legal,” and that they sometimes commit abortions on children as old as 30 weeks. The legal cut-off date for abortion of healthy children in Britain is 24 weeks and in Spain a clear threat to the mother’s life is required for abortion over 22 weeks.  The Telegraph revealed how BPAS is a registered charity receiving £12 million in National Health Service funding a year. Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe tabled an Early Day Motion Tuesday, requesting immediate cessation of all public funding for the group.  Spain begins a criminal investigation this week against the Ginemedex Clinic for committing illegal late-term abortions.  Read the Telegraph report:   Read prior coverage:  British Organization Referring Healthy Babies to Spanish Late Term Abortion Facility   tv