By Gudrun Schultz
BARCELONA, Spain, October 31, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – European women who are too far into their pregnancies to obtain a legal abortion in their home countries regularly travel to a private Barcelona clinic for late-term abortions, some as advanced as eight months, IOL News reported yesterday.
The head of the Barcelona abortuary, Carlos Morin, said on a Danish documentary that women from Denmark, Germany, Britain and Spain come to the clinic to obtain abortions after the legal limits in their home countries are exhausted.
Danish doctors and politicians spoke out against the revelations after public broadcaster DR’s Magasinet Sondag released the documentary last Sunday.
A hidden camera operated by a pregnant DR reporter captured a physician at the clinic offering to perform an abortion at eight months into the pregnancy.
“This is a healthy child of 31 weeks and three days, which would not have had any problem surviving. You kill it and then abort it. In my view that is murder,” said chief physician Charlotte Wilken-Jensen of the gynecological unit at the Amtssygehuset hospital in Roskilde.
A second woman on the documentary said she paid the clinic 35,000 kroner (US$6,000) to perform an abortion at seven months.
Denmark’s cutoff for legal abortions is 12 weeks gestation. While Danish women can request an exemption from the legal limit of 12 weeks, the review board acknowledged that some women who were denied would seek an abortion in another country. However, the head of the review panel, Torben Hviid, said he was not aware that women were seeking abortions past week 24 of their pregnancy.
Danish politicians and physicians said better counseling services were needed for women who had been rejected for late-term abortions.
The abortion limit in Spain is 24 weeks, and then abortions under law are only permitted in cases of rape, fetal deformity or if the physical or psychiatric health of the mother is at risk. In practice, however, abortions are readily available—Spain’s abortion rate has soared 72 percent over the past ten years.
Germany’s constitution protects the unborn child from the moment of conception, but abortions in the first trimester are not punished by law.
Disturbing reports of increasingly common late term abortions for minor birth defects emerged in Great Britain last May, with information from the Office for National Statistics showing babies were aborted at six and seven months gestation for such minor problems as webbed fingers, extra digits, or clubbed feet. While UK law prohibits abortion after 24 weeks, a controversial clause allows abortion up until birth if the child has a “serious handicap.”
See related LifeSiteNews coverage:
Spain Continues Cultural Tailspin—Abortion Rates Soar 72%
Eugenic Abortion Looms Large in UK as Abortion Pill Use Doubles