What REALLY happens during an abortion: One surgeon finally tells the truth
By DEBORAH DAVIES – Daily Mail UK Last updated 12th October 2007
The blonde teenager, waiting to go into the operating theatre, is 16 years old and nearly 16 weeks pregnant. She’ll be one of up to 60 women having an abortion that day at the Marie Stopes clinic in south London.
She realised she was pregnant about eight weeks earlier, but couldn’t pluck up the courage to tell her mother. The weeks ticked by. She agonised over what to do: she had plans to go to college; her boyfriend said he’d stand by her whatever she decided.
She had considered having an abortion in secret, but eventually her mum guessed and made the appointment for her.
The abortion she’s about to have would be illegal in many European countries, where the time limit is 12 weeks, unless the foetus is severely disabled or the mother’s life is at risk.
But in Britain, abortions performed for those critical health reasons accounted for only 2 per cent of the 200,000 abortions carried out last year.
The overwhelming majority were carried out on the legal grounds that two doctors agreed that continuing the pregnancy would damage the mother’s physical or mental well-being.
Small wonder, then, that some say the law is interpreted to allow abortion on demand. Very few doctors will refuse a woman who believes she can’t cope with the pregnancy or an unwanted child. And she can make that decision right up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.
These facts are worth restating because 40 years ago this month abortion became legal in Britain. The heat has never gone out of the debate, but the issue has usually simmered on the political back-burner. That’s all set to change in the next few weeks.