Doctors ‘misused figures to back abortions’

Doctors 'misled' Government in order to keep 24-week abortion limit

DOCTORS MAY HAVE misled the Government in order to keep the current 24-week abortion limit, it has been claimed.

Tory MP, Nadine Dorries, said yesterday that the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) had submitted evidence to ministers showing the survival rate at 23 weeks was just 10-15%, when some hospitals recorded survival rates of 40% at 23 weeks and 66% at 24 weeks.

The British Medical Association was also in her line of fire, as she accused them of ‘working it’ so that only pro-abortion motions were discussed at its annual conference.

Her allegations came before the public health minister, Dawn Primarolo, yesterday appeared before a parliamentary science and technology committee inquiry in to abortion.

Primarolo told the committee the Government did not think there was enough evidence to support reducing the upper abortion limit from 24 weeks, citing the lower survival rates.

An RCOG spokesman strongly denied misleading the committee. He told the Daily Telegraph: ‘What we have provided is scientific evidence, which the committee will look at. [Mrs Dorries], on the other hand, has just provided her own opinion.’

In response, Mrs Dorries argued that Hope Hospital in Salford and University College Hospital in London had survival rates of 42% at 22 weeks and 66% at 24 weeks.

But a consultant at the UCH neonatal unit later told The Daily Telegraph that the figures did not apply to all births at the hospital – only those admitted to intensive care. The number of extremely early babies was very small, making percentages very unreliable.

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