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BPAS opens new post-14-week abortion centre in Scotland

27 October 2008

A new private facility in Scotland will specialise in abortions after 14 weeks' gestation. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service will open the country's first such establishment to avoid sending women to England. SPUC is quoted as saying: "Instead of such clinics being opened, would it not be preferable to concentrate on helping women in crisis pregnancies address their fears in a way that allows their child to be born?" The Catholic church said all abortion was wrong and that the prospect of the new facility was alarming. [Scotland on Sunday, 26 October] Our source describes the gestational limit on abortion as being 24 weeks, but this does not apply to babies suspected of disability.

A quarter of births in Britain are by Caesarean, three times more than in 1980. The Royal College of Midwives suggest women are afraid of birthing pains. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said that very few Caesareans were for non-medical reasons and that they could save lives. The World Health Organisation says the proportion should be 15%. [Mail, 27 October]

One quarter of US Catholic bishops have reportedly said that abortion is the principal issue in next week's election. A British religious periodical surveyed episcopal articles and statements. By contrast, Bishop Terry Steib of Memphis, Tennessee, wrote: "We cannot be a one-issue people." [Tablet, 25 October]

Bioethicists at Oxford University, England, want easier harvesting of organs by removing the requirement for brain death. Professor Julian Savulescu and Mr Dominic Wilkinson suggest that organs might be taken from the long-term unconscious who could then be allowed to die. They cite Mrs Terri Schiavo who was dehydrated and starved to death after being unconscious for 15 years. [Practical Ethics, 24 October]

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