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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

September-09-13

Women Diagnosed with Fetal Abnormalities Denied Abortions in U.K.

Two UK non-profits will testify today that women diagnosed with fetal anomalies are denied abortions and forced to deliver their stillborn babies.

Britain's Antenatal Results and Choices (ARC) charity and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) will host a conference today, calling for the British health secretary to address this issue. According to The Guardian, 800,000 women will become pregnant in the UK each year. 35,000 will be told their fetus is at risk and fewer than 4,000 will have an abnormality diagnosed in their unborn child.

For many of those 4,000 women, ARC and BPAS said, they were forced to induce labor and denied the option of aborting the fetus.

"Ending a wanted pregnancy after a diagnosis of foetal anomaly is extremely distressing for women and their partners," said Jane Fisher, director of ARC. "At such a difficult time our research tells us that it is important that women are given the space and time to decide on the termination method that they can best cope with."

According to The Guardian, pregnancy terminations due to fetal abnormalities are legal under Ground E of The Abortion Act. They account for just 1 percent of all abortions in the UK.

Media Resources: The Guardian, 9/7/2013


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