By Hilary White

  LONDON, May 20, 2008 ( – The venerable Spectator, a leading British magazine of political news and commentary, has published excerpts from a letter from a British nurse who, in 2005, described babies surviving late-term abortions who are left to “gasp for breath for ten minutes on the side of a sink” until they die.

  The nurse, identified only as “Kay” in a newspaper column, said, “I know of two nurses who went off work with stress as a result of their experience with late terminations. I suffered horrendous nightmares and guilt for months. The guilt comes from the fact that you, as a nurse, cut the umbilical cord and, as dramatic as it sounds, we felt like murderers.” In Britain, late term is defined as those abortions committed after 20 weeks gestation.

  The Spectator’s Fraser Nelson wrote that Sun newspaper columnist Jane Moore had written a column about the nurse’s letter but declined to discuss the matter on a television talk show with Andrew Marr because it was “unsuitable” to be talked about on air. Moore’s March 2005 column did not publish the full text of the letter. Nelson, political editor of the Spectator, however, said that given the ongoing debates over the lowering of the gestational age limit for legal abortion in Parliament he would publish an edited version of Moore’s column this Sunday.

“I would say that I’d like every MP to read it before voting, but I suspect those voting to keep the 24-week limit would not expose themselves to descriptions of what, precisely, they are supporting,” Nelson wrote. This is the first time Moore’s column has been made available on the internet.

  In her letter, Kay said, “It is all too easy for people to picture a clump of cells or mush. People don’t want to picture perfectly-formed miniature babies and I don’t blame them, I was once the same.”

  Kay, however, said that she had no qualms about “terminations” for disabled, or potentially disabled children. Kay said that “terminations” for “social reasons” far outnumber those committed for suspected foetal abnormality. She says that “emotional distress” the reason most commonly given, cannot be genuine and that abortion, even by 2005, was already being used as a form of contraception.

“There are girls who come back five or six times demanding terminations and they get them. How can someone coming for their fifth termination be allowed to keep saying it is due to emotional distress? I should imagine in ten years’ time the emotional distress of being allowed to have five terminations is going to take its toll. What is going on?”

  But Fr. Tim Finigan, founder of the Association of Priests for the Gospel of Life, responded, “So is it OK to allow ‘severely disabled’ babies to die gasping for breath on the side of a sink?”

  Writing on his weblog, the Hermeneutic of Continuity, Fr. Finigan added, “I hope the article does indeed make some MPs think about what is going on in our supposedly civilised society but I pray that the presumption ‘It’s OK if they are disabled’ can be seen for what it is.”


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