The BBC published “Mother jailed for taking abortion pills after legal limit,” neglecting to mention in the title just how far past the legal limit the mother was.
In the UK it’s legal to induce an abortion at home via pills up to 10 weeks gestation, get an elective abortion in a clinic up to 24 weeks gestation, and abort up until birth if there is a fetal diagnosis (including Down syndrome).
[Read more – Heidi Crowter and the Deathly Laws]
It used to be the case that abortion providers had to see a woman in person before providing her pills in order to examine her for, among other factors, probable gestational age. During COVID, BPAS (basically the British Planned Parenthood) and others lobbied to legalize abortion via telemedicine (which involves all sorts of higher risks).
[Read more – The risks of telemedicine abortion]
In this case, BPAS provided Carla Foster abortion pills via telemedicine after she indicated she was 7 weeks pregnant. She was actually 32-34 weeks pregnant (a reality that would have been impossible to miss had they examined her). Her daughter was born not breathing and was confirmed dead 45 minutes later.
Foster was initially charged with child destruction, which she denied. She plead guilty to administering drugs to procure illegal abortion. She will spend at least 14 months in custody, away from her three sons, including one with special needs. During sentencing the judge reflected that this is a tragic case, and Foster is clearly wracked by guilt. Historically there have been similar reactions to mothers who commit infanticide. There are no victors here. Just trauma and death.
Does BPAS view this case as an example of the risks of telemedicine abortion? No. Instead they and other abortion activists are using Foster’s case to argue that a law which allows abortion for any reason up until 24 weeks and for fetal anomaly up until birth is “archaic,” and that “we need urgent reform to make safe access for all women in England, Scotland, and Wales a human right.”
They’re arguing that aborting a 32-34 week healthy fetus should be a human right. What else is there to say?