Page 3, 2nd June 2000

2nd June 2000
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Page 3, 2nd June 2000 — NHS examines abortion clinic horror
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NHS examines abortion clinic horror

By Citra Sidhu ONE OF the largest abortion clinics in London is under investigation after a patient stabbed herself and injured a nurse who tried to intervene.

The woman had been admitted to the Park View clinic in Ealing to undergo an abortion last week.

NHS officials responsible for monitoring and licensing the clinic, which is run by Marie Stopes International, have now begun a formal enquiry.

The incident follows reve

lations about the clinic's "conveyor belt" system of 10minute "lunch-time" abortions. Staff recently highlighted serious concerns in a London evening newspaper about the lack of counselling and care and inadequate pain relief.

Reports of women over 16 weeks pregnant collapsing in the toilets or vomiting in front of other patients after being administered a drug designed to make abortion easier are rife. Women crying before and after surgery and screams from women having abortions after a local anaesthetic, the pain of which one woman described as "worse than the hours I spent in labour with my daughter" are also common.

One former receptionist said: "You are told to encourage as many women as possible to have a local anaesthetic rather than a general one, which takes much longer.

You can get 10 times more patients through the door that way."

She added that those counselling are not trained. "I was never trained, but I had to ask the patient's masons for seeking an abortion. A lot of the women are quite confused when they come to us."

Professor Jack Scarisbrick, chairman of Life, the pro-life charity said: "This is typical in these abattoirs. The women are treated as scarcely human and the staff are brutalised by what they are doing and that shows in their conveyor belt attitude.

"Most women don't want to be there and they are going to regret it. This is our society and we should be ashamed of it."

However, a spokesman for Marie Stopes insisted that it did not cut costs and that it ran a humane service. Meanwhile, students at Cambridge University have voted by an overwhelming majority not to support the National Abortion Campaign, a pressure group, which calls for abortion on demand.

The students also voted for greater publicity for Life, the pro-life pregnancy support charity.

Sarah Makin of Student LifeNet, the intemet-based pro-life group confirmed that more young people, in particular medical students, are reluctant to accept abortion as the answer to unplanned pregnancies. She said: "When the affiliation was proposed by the womens' officer of the Student Union, the pro-life groups rallied round and circulated the NAC's own quotes about abortion rights up until birth and embryo research without restriction. Interestingly, Newnham College, traditionally hardcore feminists, voted not to affiliate. This is very positive."




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