By Hilary White

LONDON, November 28, 2005 ( – The weekend edition of the London Times carries a report that provides insight into what pro-lifers identify as the moral vacuity of media representation of abortion. In a story on “botched” abortions the Times reports on the latest British medical scandal: that some of the intended victims survive.

A government agency has published a report titled, “Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH),” that shows, to the horror of the British medical establishment, that up to 50 babies survive abortion every year in Britain.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, says the Times, requires that babies whom the mother chooses to kill after 21 weeks and six days of gestation must receive an injection of potassium chloride into the heart “before being delivered.” The article states blandly that “in practice, few doctors are willing or able to perform the delicate procedure.”

In an unusually frank admission, the Times neglects the standard journalistic euphemisms that soothe public conscience in abortion coverage. Instead of speaking of “terminations” and “foetuses,” the Times refers to “babies.” Instructions to abortionists doing early term abortions in Britain require that the drugs used should “prevent such babies being alive at birth.”

Britain has one of the highest rates of abortion per live births in the world with abortion on demand available through 24 weeks gestation. British women seeking abortions later than 24 weeks can be sent without criminal penalty to Spain where facilities are available for “preventing such babies being alive at birth.”

As with human fecundity, the problem of children surviving abortion refuses to go away quietly and, according to the Times, doctors are “increasingly uneasy” with it. While disclaiming that he is not “anti-abortion,” Stuart Campbell, former professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at St George’s hospital, London said that abortion botching is “substandard medicine.”

“If viability is the basis on which they set the 24-week limit for abortion, then the simplest answer is to change the law and reduce the upper limit to 18 weeks,” said Campbell.

Catholic World News’ resident pseudonymous blogger and commentator, Diogenes, drew the obvious comparisons. “Skill at saving babies’ lives is improving, skill at ending them is in short supply. The result: half a hundred stubborn little bastards—breathing and crying—who won’t do the sporting thing and die. No wonder the health service is upset.”

Read the Times article:,,2087-1892696,00.html


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