UK: babies surviving abortion attempts

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Some people seem to regard this as a problem, but a report in Britain has found about 50 babies per year surviving attempts to abort them.

The investigation, by the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH), comes amid growing unease among clinicians over a legal ambiguity that could see them being charged with infanticide.

Think of that: abortionists accused of killing babies! Of all things!

Still, I guess it's worth pointing out that Europe, for all its reputation of social libertinism, has abortion laws that give more protection to children than do US laws [some is better than none], and there are proposals to bring down the time limits in the UK:

The number of terminations carried out in the 18th week of pregnancy or later has risen from 5,166 in 1994 to 7,432 last year. Prenatal diagnosis for conditions such as Down’s syndrome is increasing and foetuses with the condition are routinely aborted, even though many might be capable of leading fulfilling lives. In the past decade, doctors’ skill in saving the lives of premature babies has improved radically: at least 70%-80% of babies in their 23rd or 24th week of gestation now survive long-term.

Abortion on demand is allowed in Britain up to 24 weeks — more than halfway through a normal pregnancy and the highest legal limit for such terminations in Europe. France and Germany permit “social” abortions only up to the 10th and 12th weeks respectively.

Doctors are increasingly uneasy about aborting babies who could be born alive. “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, who last year published a book showing images of foetuses’ facial expressions and “walking” movements taken with a form of 3-D ultrasound.

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In reading British papers occasionally, you can sense an unease with abortion that you don't normally see in the States. When I was in London last September, the Daily Mirror ran a front-page story where they took a 15-year-old girl who went to various abortion clinics and tried to get an abortion (in reality, she was a virgin). In the UK, parents are supposed to be notified, but the clinics swept that consideration aside.

Granted, the Daily Mirror is a tabloid, but as a populist newspaper it reflects popular concerns far more than, say, the Times of London.

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