Thousands of babies are being aborted for medical ‘abnormalities’ including treatable conditions like cleft palate and club foot, shocking new Government figures have revealed.
Official figures, released after a prolonged legal battle with a pro-life group, show that nearly 18,000 babies were aborted between 2002 and 2010 on the grounds of disability, 1,189 of whom were aborted after 24 weeks.
During last year alone 2,290 such abortions were performed, with 147 of those performed after 24 weeks.
Of the 2,290 seven were performed on the grounds of a cleft palate, a condition which can be rectified by surgery, and 181 were attributed to musculoskeletal problems such as club foot.
The figures were released after the Department of Health yielded to a Freedom of Information Request, following a lengthy legal battle with the Pro Life Alliance.
Julia Millington, a spokeswoman for the group, said: “The Pro-life Alliance is opposed to all abortion at any stage in pregnancy, but terminating the lives of babies at gestational ages when they could survive is always particularly horrifying.
“We have always argued that if these abortions are permitted under law, there should be no attempt whatsoever to hide details of the numbers or justifications.”
However Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), claimed that the publication of the statistics showed the “vindictiveness” of pro-lifers.
She said: “Abortion for foetal anomaly is legal. Behind every one of these figures are doctors and nurses who deserve our admiration and support, and a couple who have often lost a much-wanted pregnancy.”
A spokesman for the Department of Health confirmed that the data was published following “the recent judgment from the High Court”.
Abortion is outlawed in Britain after 24 weeks of pregnancy, but is allowed up to the point of birth for babies with a substantial risk of “serious” disability. However babies with treatable conditions including cleft palate and club foot have been aborted under this law.
Last year 189,574 abortions were carried out on women residing in England and Wales. Ten years previously this figure was 175,542.