Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Just How Big A Discrepancy Is There In The “Official Figures” For Complications Following Abortion...?

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service and Marie Stopes International are not the only groups in this country who seem to ignore the facts regarding possible sequelae following abortion. The Department of Health and the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists are even worse, considering they have a duty to protect the health of the nation including women.

Nonetheless, it is not all bad news – as we can see from the Abortion Statistics for 2010. Thankfully, these indicate that an increasing number of young gynaecologists continue to refuse to perform abortions. This is very encouraging.

It began at around the Millennium when the Young Doctors Division of the BMA revolted. They were led by a young atheist and they put forward a Motion at the BMA Annual Conference requiring that hospitals should respect the conscience clause in the Abortion Act. The common situation at that time was that consultant gynaecologists would agree to abortions virtually on demand – and then require their juniors to carry out the operations! Our young atheist doctor had witnessed all too often the pressure brought to bear on colleagues with a conscientious objection to abortions being forced to do them; if they refused their careers in obstetrics and gynaecology ended.

However, the Motion at the BMA Annual Conference was passed with a huge majority. As a result, BMA officers who were anything but pro-life were compelled to demand that the Department of Health (DoH) should circulate all NHS hospitals telling them that they had to implement the conscience clause in the Abortion Act. Consultants either had to carry out the abortions themselves or make alternative arrangements.

This resulted in NHS-funded abortions being carried out in the private sector (or Independent Sector as classified by the DoH). It was followed by a gradual increase of young men and women entering obstetrics and gynaecology who had a conscientious objection to abortion. It also led to an increase in NHS-funded abortions being carried out by the BPAS and Marie Stopes Clinics. In the year 2000, only 29% of NHS abortions were done in Independent Clinics. By 2005, this had increased to 44% and in 2010, it had gone up to 59%. Only 37% were being done in NHS hospitals.

Tragically, this is not good news for the unborn baby: s/he can still be killed on demand. However, it is otherwise good news in that gradually we have very much more caring doctors serving our women and their babies. Muslim women – I am glad to say – are far more forthright in demanding to be cared for by a doctor of their own faith or by a Christian. The ones who are very slow in coming forward are the Christians. We should do everything we can to encourage Christian women (and others who are pro-life) to demand that they and their babies should be cared for by doctors who do not do abortions. This is possible under NHS Patients’ Rights.

Come to that, I know a considerable number of agnostic women who would not want to be manhandled by some gynaecologist who has just killed a few infants – albeit that they were unborn. You don’t have to be a believer to object.

Moreover, it is not all that easy for Marie Stopes and BPAS to hire doctors to operate their surgical programmes. That is why they are so keen on medical abortions such as RU486.

Marie Stopes’ witnesses actually had the nerve to complain to one Parliamentary Select Committee about the refusal of young doctors to do abortions and the problems it created. It also explains the drive at European and world-level to get Motions passed denying the right of nurses and doctors to conscientious objections in being involved in abortions.

One can also see quite clearly why we are faced with the drive to have abortions carried out in General Practitioners’ surgeries on the approval of only one doctor. And they are not sticking at doctors being in charge. They are playing safe and trying to get the law changed so that nurses can carry out the medical abortion procedure.

The claim that they are doing this for the sake of speed and the care of women is utter bunkum. Even the inadequate figures provided in the NHS abortion statistics show that medical abortions are more dangerous than surgical abortions. The NHS claims that total complications from abortions in 2010 amounted to 287 with 122 from surgical abortions and 165 from medical abortions. This, despite the fact, that only 43% (81,512) are medical procedures  as compared with 57% (108,062) of surgical cases.

Moreover, this is by no means the least of the DoH sins against women. In “Abortion Statistics for 2010”, at the bottom of the page showing complication rates by procedure and gestation, there is a footnote telling us “complications include: haemorrhage, uterine perforation and/or sepsis and are those reported up to the time of discharge from the place of termination”.

This is ludicrous. To my mind it amounts to criminal negligence in view of the fact that an increasing number of patients are discharged on the day of termination and a majority of others remain in the hospital/clinic for only two or three days at the most.

The Abortion Act requires notification forms (which includes complications) to be returned within seven days of the abortion taking place. However, when the law first came into force patients stayed in hospital for at least two or three days. Even then, responsible gynaecologists thought this was far too short a period to allow for the discovery of complications.

Quite often infections are not evident for days or even a week or more after termination; haemorrhages may not occur until a week or so (one doctor told me that a patient was admitted to his hospital haemorrhaging a full month after she had been aborted in a “charity clinic”).  Only last week, a woman contacted me saying that she was finally admitted to hospital for corrective surgery six months after her abortion in an “independent place” and, again, two months later for a further minor procedure.

Uterine perforation may consist of only a tiny “track” (like a “pin prick”) which does not become evident for some time – and may not be discovered until the woman’s womb ruptures during a further pregnancy. This also applies to weakening of the cervix which may not become evident until in a further pregnancy it is found that the neck of the womb is unable to contain the pregnancy to full term.

Furthermore, although all hospitals are supposed to check for Chlamydia in abortion patients, only 84% report having “offered” it to patients. The spread of Chlamydia in the body caused by abortion can result in horrendous complications leaving a woman infertile and suffering intense pain at periods throughout her life unless she has a complete hysterectomy. (I have known personally several women who were so afflicted. One of the girls to whom I was very close had started on a series of affairs following sexual abuse by her father from the age of 7).

When I look at the so-called number of complications following abortions I cannot help but recall that when the House of Lords Select Committee on the Assisted Dying For the Terminally Ill Bill visited Oregon they were informed repeatedly by medical witnesses that with more than 200 assisted suicide deaths there had been no complications. Professor The Lord McColl of Dulwich (Professor of Surgery, Guy’s Hospital, London) commented that if any surgeon or physician had said he did 200 procedures without any complications he would know there was something amiss.

“We come here and I am told there are no complications. There is something strange going on here.” [House of Lord Select Committee on the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill {HL}.Volume II: Evidence. Apr 4, 2005. p.334, Q.956.]

Looking at the DoH Abortion Statistics for 2010 the figures show a total of 287 complications from 189,574 abortions. That makes one complication for every 660 procedures, well over three times the number queried by Professor Lord McColl.

I reckon there is something even stranger going on in our neck of the woods, with the DoH and the rest of the pro-abortion lobby. However, it is no good us thinking that we will leave the protesting to the women who have suffered. Every one of us can do something. At the least we should protest to our MPs (and in letters to newspapers) about the total lack of care shown by the DoH in reporting only complications resulting from abortion up to the time of discharge from the place of termination. And I think we can also safely query – without looking foolish  just how many complications are overlooked at the time of discharge!

As I have already said, it is criminal negligence. No wonder they can claim such a low rate of complications.