The Department of Health (DoH) has claimed that the recent murder of an American doctor justifies its refusal to publish detailed figures of UK abortions for minor disabilities. Dr George Tiller, known in the US for performing late-term abortions, was shot while at church.
At an information tribunal hearing, DoH personnel circulated reports of the killing to support their claim that full exposure of UK abortion statistics could lead to violence.
The tribunal is considering the Department’s appeal against the Information Commissioner’s 2008 ruling that abortion figures for minor conditions should be published. Since 2002 the DoH has refused to publish annual exact figures of abortions for conditions such as club foot and cleft palate.
DoH representatives told the tribunal that publishing these figures could lead to the women and doctors involved being identified, the Christian Institute reported.