Thursday, November 1, 2007

Sometimes, just sometimes, reason prevails

PUBLICATION OF REPORT: SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENTS RELATING TO THE ABORTION ACT 1967 by the UK Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee: full text of the press release can be found here. However, whether these conclusions will get embodied in legislative change remains to be seen.

A piece of self-promotion: Historical evidence on the Abortion Act 1967: Evidence submitted to the Science and Technology Committee inquiry into the Abortion Act 1967 by Lesley A. Hall of the Wellcome Library is now available as a downloadable pdf from the History and Policy site news page.

1 comment:

Timmi Duchamp said...

Well done!

This offers a cheering contrast to a different report I read about this morning. A year ago the Nicaraguan Parliament revoked article 165 of the criminal code, which permits abortions for medical reasons, a measure that has been in effect since 1893. An NGO, Si Mujer, reports that the revocation of the law has resulted over the last year in scores of women dying for lack of appropriate medical attention. (Likely the figure would be even higher if women in Nicaragua did not go to Costa Rica or Panama [or, if they are wealthy, to the US] for abortions.) The Internet Press article packs a real punch to the gut:

Studies by Sí Mujer indicate that 12 young pregnant women died from lack of care in health centres where personnel were afraid of the penalties of up to eight years in jail and loss of their medical licence for doctors who carry out or assist in abortions, even when the action is taken to save the expectant mother’s life.

“In practice what is happening is a government death penalty imposed on women,” said Pizarro, a gynaecologist.
It would be a terrible ethical decision for a doctor to confront-- watching a patient who could be saved and restored to health die vs. the prospect of eight years of prison & the loss of the ability to go on practicing medicine. Too bad the 66 heartless bastards in the Nicaraguan Parliament who revoked the 1893 law don't have to take personal responsibility for those deaths (much less stand by and witness women dying before their eyes).