I was chatting with a friend of mine over lunch, it varied from the usual chit-chat of what we had been up to at the weekend.
He told me that his wife had went into labour 14 weeks early and that although she was fine, the baby was in the ICU ( Intensive Care Unit ).
My first reaction was concern, then followed by what are you doing at work?
Shouldn’t you be at the hospital or at home supporting your wife?
He says there’s nothing to do, so as a contractor he might as well just go to work and earn a living instead of hanging around helpless and not getting paid.
Hmmm I thought .. think if it was me, I’d be there and if I ws his missus I’d be pissed off that he wasn’t.
Anyway, 14 weeks premature and the baby is in ICU, that means it is 26 weeks old.
Only until fairly recently the latest termination period in the UK was 28 weeks but was cut to 24 weeks a few years ago. That’s quite sad that in one ward a baby is being terminated where as in another it is being helped to survive.
Now I’m not going to get into all the pro-choice, pro-life debate. We al know the ins and outs of it and if your position is one or the other, then I’m sure that your point of view is unlikely to change reading my utterings.
But I like statistics, if you have the facts then you can have an informed view.
I’ve attached the recently released statistics for abortion prepared by the Chief Medical Officer for England And Wales in 2013, giving summary information and history over the previous years.
I don’t have time to go through them all, but here are a few highlights, have a read at the report for more.
Fortunately, if there is a fortunate in termination even if it is the womans choice. The chart on page 13 shows that 80% of all terminations occur before 10 weeks, 90% occur before 13 weeks, so the nightmare scenario painted above isn’t a frequent occurence if it ever does happen at all.
The chart on page 10, shows that most abortions occur with women age 22, the rate having increased rapidly from 16 to 22 then drops of linearly until age 46.
That to me is an indication that what is needed is education and that the health / sex education we already have in schools isn’t working.
As part of my reasearch for this, todays Daily Mail published a headline that “One In Three Women In The UK Will have An Abortion Before Age 45.”
That seems sensationalistic and at odds with my reading of the actual statistics which have indicated that the percentages of women having abortions are low, but also that there is a significant number 37% who are having repeat terminations.
It would appear that these women are using abortion as a contraception choice, possibly because of their religious or other cultural beliefs, or attitude towards termination, but again education would be the key.
Coincidentally, today the Scotland Bill is being debated at Westminister to decide whether the laws on Abortion should be transferred to Holyrood as its the last remaining health issue controlled at a UK level. The argument for is to devolve more power and that we already have our own health and legal systems, I can see the point in that.
But the argument against is that we shouldn’t be setting health issues based on a line on a map. I can also see the sense in that, even although we already do, with a significan number of non-UK residents coming to the UK to have terminations
Does it really matter if ithe Abortion Law is controlled by Westminister or Holyrood?
As a dad to two daughters,18 and 24,, would I want them to have an abortion?
No, never, but there are always exceptional circumstances. You know the exceptions already.
What I do want is for them to be educated, capable and to avoid any traumatic experiences in their life, but if they ever need serious healthcare for it to be available.