Church and Pro-lifers' Views Differ on Abortion Documentary

The Channel Four programme 'My Foetus' about abortion has been highly controversial as pro-lifers and Churches with alternative views express their opinions after a preview of the documentary.

The Catholic Church in England and Wales said that the documentary which shows footage of an abortion, "Would prove a powerful anti-abortion message, highlighting the full horror."

The Archbishop, who is chairman of the department of Christian Responsibility said in a statement that too often women have been sold the lie that abortion is an easy option. But if the tide of public opinion is turned by these disturbing images, it will be for the common good.

The bishop also spoke the truth that women often undergo abortions in face of terrible pressure, so they must always be treated with compassion and in no way condemned. He considered the abortion shown in the program as the killing of an unborn child.

On the other hand, pro-life Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has expressed disappointment and concern towards the documentary.

Mrs Eileen Brydon of SPUC's north-east England office said: "This documentary purports to lift the veil of secrecy about abortion yet the subject will remain obscure after people have seen it. Although some people from the anti-abortion side were featured, this was principally an attempt to make abortion seem easy, normal and good."

Looking at the show in detail, Mrs Eileen Brydon commented on the inappropriate use of images in the documentary. The Programme makers chose to show an early abortion, and even though the child is not recognisable enough to give convincing evidence of its humanity, 'My Foetus' remains highly debated.

"The abortion will show viewers a very early abortion, which is unusual. The message was that this was a quick and easy operation, yet nothing was mentioned of all the possible psychological or physical effects, some of them long-term, on women of having abortions at any stage."

Channel 4 will put the programme out on a late-night 11pm slot and will warn viewers both before and during the programme of potentially disturbing images. The programme is expected to impose major influence to the public values towards abortion as this is the first abortion to be shown on television in Britain. Disturbingly, nowadays abortions have become particularly common among women under 20.

A recent report published by the Government's Office for National Statistics showed that almost one in four (23 per cent) of all pregnancies in Britain now end in abortion. This figure rises to more than one in three (36 per cent) pregnancies in women under 20. At the same time, however, it has been pointed out that the overall national birth rate is at an all-time low. But abortion has seemed to many to have become one of the most common surgical procedures performed in Britain.

'My Foetus', to be screened on 20 April in the UK, will show a "vacuum-pump" abortion. The results of the three-minute procedure, generally performed on pregnancies under 12 weeks gestation, are then placed on a petri dish.