Women ‘must be told the truth’ about abortion

4 May 2020

A woman has launched a legal bid against the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) after the abortion provider failed to inform her that a baby at 23 weeks’ gestation may feel pain and that her baby could have the chance of survival outside the womb.

Anna-Maria Tudor, 32 and from Newcastle, had an abortion at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) clinic in Richmond, London, in April 2017. She says that the clinic never informed her that her unborn baby might suffer during the abortion procedure. It was only later that she found out that the unborn child may have felt pain while being aborted.

Mrs Tudor is taking NICE to the High Court and seeking a declaration that their current guidelines are unlawful. Officially, NICE guidelines do not mention the possibility that an unborn baby may feel pain nor do they require women to be informed of this.

This is despite growing evidence that unborn babies may be able to feel pain as early as 13 weeks’ gestation.

Mrs Tudor told The Mail on Sunday that, “I did not find out a baby at 23 weeks might be able to feel pain until afterwards. It made me feel awful and I now deeply regret my decision.” She went on to say that women “must be told the truth of what is involved” in an abortion procedure.

Her solicitor, Paul Conrathe, of Sinclairslaw, also commented: “The failure to provide this information to my client meant she went ahead and aborted her baby at 23 weeks, a decision she profoundly regrets.”

Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, commented: “We are glad to see that the deception of abortion practitioners is being challenged in this case.

“The abortion debate is centred around the question of whether the not-yet-born baby is a person or not. It’s more obvious to many people that the unborn baby is a person when they know he or she can feel pain. How many women have chosen abortions only to find out that they weren’t merely carrying a blob of tissue but a real human being, that could even feel pain.

“But we shouldn’t lose perspective. 23 weeks is not just old enough to feel pain, it’s old enough to survive with proper care and treatment. There is no moral justification whatsoever for deliberately killing a baby that has a chance to live outside the womb.

“The upper age limit on abortions in the UK is way out of line with other countries – most European countries set the limit at 12 weeks. Abortion at any stage of development is a disaster, but the very least we should be able to do in a civilised society is to lower the limit.”

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