By Hilary White
LONDON, October 29, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – British doctors in favour of abortion may have misled the members of the Commons Committee examining the question of whether to lower Britain’s gestational age limit for legal abortion. The Daily Telegraph reports that Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has accused doctors of giving inaccurate information to give a result favourable to maintaining the 24 week limit
Dorries said the British Medical Association had “work[ed] it” so that only pro-abortion motions were discussed at its annual conference. The Commons Committee has been criticised for its decision to attempt to ignore the ethical questions surrounding abortion and examine only “scientific” or medical opinions.
The argument for lowering the age limit on abortion stems from an idea that a child becomes a “person” when he or she is old enough to survive outside the womb. This so-called “viability limit” was used to bring the age limit for abortion down from 28 weeks to its current 24 weeks in Britain. In many other European countries, the age limit is 12 weeks.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) submitted evidence to the Committee showing the survival rate for children born at 23 weeks was just 10-15 per cent. Some hospitals they said recorded survival rates of 40 per cent at 23 weeks and 66 per cent at 24 weeks.
Last Wednesday, Labour Health Minister Dawn Primarolo told the Committee that the government did not believe there is sufficient scientific evidence to lower the legal abortion limit of 24 weeks. She said, “The act works as intended and doesn’t require further amendment.”
“The medical consensus still indicates that whilst improvements have been made in care, at the moment, that concept of viability cannot be pushed back.”
In today’s Daily Mail, columnist Melanie Phillips wrote that in Britain, “from the cradle to the grave, life has never been held so cheap as it is today.”
She decries “cynical indifference” and that British society is becoming “steadily more careless and brutalised” by abortion.
She writes that the reason the issue of “viability” is “absolutely crucial to the ethical basis of the law,” is that the Abortion Act “effectively annuls” Britain’s law against infanticide.
Phillips cites recent discoveries about the child’s ability to feel pain at earlier ages as a cause of “widespread revulsion and disquiet” over abortion. Forty years of the Abortion Act, she writes, has resulted in a “callous disregard for human life which has degraded and coarsened our entire society.”
At the same time as abortion is making headlines in Britain, UK newspapers are carrying increasing coverage of Britain’s anticipated population explosion due to increases of mass immigration.
Reports issued last week show that while public opposition grows to the Labour government’s open border policies, Britain’s population could swell from its current 60 million to a possible 81 million by 2050 due to immigration. The government maintains the current level of immigration is necessary to fill labour needs while the British population is aging and the birth rate remains below replacement level at 1.67 children born per woman.
Statistics show that while almost 200,000 children are being aborted each year, Britain’s population is growing by an annual 240,000 overseas immigrants.
According to recent statistics, the median age for British women is 40.7 years, an age at which it is increasingly difficult to conceive. Demographers are warning of a massive shift in population in which by 2008 it is estimated that there will be more old age pensioners in Britain than children.