Saturday, July 12, 2008

Eleven-Year-Old Romanian Girl Receives Late-Term Abortion in London

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

LONDON, July 10, 2008 ( - An 11 year old girl over 21 weeks pregnant has received an abortion at a London hospital after pro-lifers in Romania lost the struggle to save her child's life.

Abortions are illegal in Romania after the 14th week of gestation, unless physicians rule that the pregnancy is a threat to the mother's health. A hospital ethics panel in Romania denied permission for an abortion after ruling that the girl and her baby were healthy, and the pregnancy was proceeding without complications.

However, after weeks of media-generated controversy, the Romanian government issued a new legal opinion stating that the girl could receive an abortion, because her "mental health" would be affected, an interpretation of the law that is heavily disputed in Romania.

Despite the fact that officials of the Romanian Orthodox Church refused to condemn the abortion, many Orthodox and secular organizations fought to save the unborn child's life, and warned that if an abortion were carried out, the doctor would be subject to prosecution despite the government ruling in favor of the procedure.

The girl received the abortion in a public hospital in London after running into further legal obstacles in Britain, where abortions for children under the age of 12 require special permission, according to one Romanian media source. It was also reported that a special anesthesiologist would be required, one that was not available at the private facility.

As a result, the original abortion provider, Marie Stopes International, refused to carry out the procedure and transferred the girl to London's King's College Hospital, where the unborn child was killed by a special team of physicians.

Abortions can be carried out in Britain until the 24th week of gestation.

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