BPAS opposes stillbirth investigations

10 Oct 2019

Britain’s largest abortion provider, BPAS has spoken out against a proposed change to inquest rules for stillbirths, because this could grant legal rights to unborn babies.

The current law permits an inquest for a baby who died ten seconds after delivery but not for one who died ten seconds before. There have been calls to change the law so as to enable coroners to hold inquests for babies stillborn from 37 weeks’ gestation (full-term) so that these stillbirths can be properly investigated and learnt from order to prevent future tragedies.

BPAS has said that the change “risks fundamentally undermining the uncontested legal understanding that a stillborn child remains part of the mother.......This, in turn, risks endangering the legal understanding of women’s rights to her own body during pregnancy and birth – conferring a degree of foetal personhood which can only be attained by removing fundamental, long-standing rights from women.....We also believe it is inappropriate to refer to foetal demise as ‘death’ in relation to legislation as this indicates a legal personhood which the stillborn baby did not have.” (As quoted by BPAS)

SPUC has commented saying: “We are seeing the true colours of the abortion industry. They are terrified of any move which could give legal protection to unborn children....BPAS will not acknowledge the humanity of the unborn baby because their work is destroying these little ones.” (As quoted by SPUC)

Mothers who have experienced stillbirth have also hit out at BPAS. Caroline Tully, who lost her daughter Clara to stillbirth, and whose case led the Ministry of Justice to name the proposed law change “Clara’s law” has spoken out saying "I am very disappointed that a theoretical risk to allowing legal rights to non-viable foetuses could undo all the hard work put in to support the need for Clara’s Law. Their move could come at a cost to the lives of unborn babies, by allowing unsafe practices to go unchecked." (As quoted by Daily Mail)