Contraception by abortion
A hard-hitting BBC Panorama report has suggested abortions are being increasingly used as a form of extreme contraception, with more than one in five British women opting for abortions each year.
The programme cited statistics that showed 98 per cent of abortions are carried out on grounds that the continuation of the pregnancy would ‘carry a risk to the woman’s mental health’. Only one per cent of abortions are carried out because the baby would be born with severe disabilities.
According to Professor Clare Gerada, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, more than 190,000 abortions are carried out on the basis of a woman’s ‘mental health’, but, she told Panorama, the risk has not been tested objectively.
She said, ‘What we have is what the woman tells us. It’s for me to explore potential other options, but to take her at face value’.
However, the programme was met with some consternation from commentators, such as Daily Telegraph columnist Jill Kirby, who wrote, ‘Five years ago, the sponsor of the 1967 Act, Lord Steel, admitted abortion has indeed become a “form of contraception”, and that he had never envisaged how many hundreds of thousands of procedures would take place as a result.
‘Nor would he have expected that more than a third of all women having an abortion would have had at least one previous pregnancy terminated.
‘You don’t need to be a pro-life campaigner to be worried about these statistics. Whether the procedure is carried out in an NHS hospital or contracted out to a private clinic, 96 per cent of all abortions are taxpayer-funded, placing a heavy burden on the public purse.
‘And even if you set aside concerns about the sanctity of life, or the long-term health consequences of multiple abortions, it is surely reasonable to insist that the law as drafted should be observed’.