Monday, 2 April 2012

The real reason why so few doctors are willing to do late abortions

The Guardian newspaper, as a symptom of its rising anxiety about a change of public opinion about abortion, has run on its front page an emotive story titled ‘Anti-abortion climate “will deter new generation of doctors”’.

It quotes Dr Malcolm Griffiths, a consultant and clinical director in obstetrics and gynaecology at Luton and Dunstable hospital, as saying that ‘It's probably not a dozen people in the country who are doing (abortions) around 20 weeks and beyond.’

According to the Department of Health’s statistics, 2,744 abortions of the 189,574 abortions performed in England and Wales in 2010 were carried out at 20 weeks gestation or above (see table 7a).

Of this total 67%, or 1,838, were carried out surgically.

So on Dr Griffiths reckoning, if twelve doctors are doing all of these late abortions then they must be doing an average of 153 each per year or three each every week!

The picture above is of a baby at 20 weeks gestation. Babies just three weeks older than this will not infrequently survive with neonatal intensive care and in fact I relate the remarkable story of one such baby on this blog.

24 weeks is generally regarded as the threshold of viability. It is also the gestation above which abortions cannot be performed other than for serious congenital abnormality.

Dr Griffiths says that so few doctors do late abortions because so few are trained to do it.

But I suspect that that is not the real reason at all. The real question is why more don’t seek such training.

I suggest the real reason more doctors don’t do late abortions is that there are very few doctors who can bring themselves to kill and then dismember what, for all intents and purposes, is quite obviously a baby.

I know one doctor who put her finger into the cervix to carry out a late abortion and felt the baby kick her. She froze and a colleague had to be called to ‘take over’.

Not surprisingly she never did another after that.


  1. I suspect if they were "trained" to do it, even fewer would take it up! :D

  2. Abortion is a sin against God especially Late abortion

  3. Thanks for sharing some of the facts. Abortion quite clearly is taking the life of an unborn child. It's sad for anyone who chooses to do this and I am sure they are sad inside for having had an abortion. To not be sad would be in denial that there was life inside of you. I support the right to life for the unborn child however I would not ever wish to be judgemental of someone who has been through the emotional pain of abortion.

  4. Wow at last a ray of hope..... the doctors themselves are realising that the Hippocratic oath demands they protect life at all costs, not kill it at all costs. Abortion does untold damage to millions of women across the world - damage to their physical bodies and damage to their emotional and mental health. Pro choice bodies have blinded society for so long in making them thing abortion is a simple remedy to a woman's plight, however it rarely is the best 'choice' for mother and certainly not child. Let us pray that all doctors see their responsibility to protect all life and that this practice sees a distinct decline. How could any doctor inflict such barbarity upon a patient and call that care I have no idea! Shoving a blender into a womans womb does not sound the work of a doctor to me, but more something akin to a barbaric neo nazi state. Praise God for all the doctors who have taken the stand to not enter into this unrighteous act.

  5. thank you for sharing this Keith - I think we all got a kick in the guts after hearing about how the about-to-be-dismembered child give the searching hand a kick...

    As the son of a man who would have been aborted if it was available on demand in India in early 1940 - I am eternally grateful that my Dad survived and was given for adoption to a wonderful missionary couple

    Blessings to you and keep speaking out!

  6. "I know one doctor who put her finger into the cervix to carry out a late abortion and felt the baby kick her. She froze and a colleague had to be called to ‘take over’."

    Although I do not sit in judgement - do woman realise the full extent of the grisly details of a late abortion?

    Similar to the above comment - if abortions had been 'available' in the year of my birth, had my mum and dad had so wished I could have been aborted as I met todays criteria.

    Makes you think doesn't it?

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