About one percent of IVF pregnancies are aborted every year, figures collected by the fertility watchdog show. The exact reasons for the terminations - which amount to an average of about 80 a year - are unclear, but will include medical problems with the foetus as well as social grounds, such as a relationship breakdown.
"Selective reduction" abortions, when one foetus is removed to improve the survival chances of another in a multiple pregnancy, are also included. The figures from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which regulates IVF clinics in the UK, were obtained as part of a Freedom of Information request.
They show that the proportion of foetuses aborted remained stable between 1991 and 2008, the last year for which data was available. In that year there were 65 terminations in 6,723 pregnancies. The 18-34 age group saw the highest number of abortions, with 23 terminations, but they also had significantly more pregnancies than older IVF patients.
There was no information on the number of abortions of IVF pregnancies which had originally been funded by the NHS. Public provision of IVF is patchy, and many couples pay thousands of pounds to undergo fertility procedures privately.
Professor Bill Ledger, a member of the HFEA said: "I had no idea that there were so many post-IVF abortions and each one is a tragedy", while former conservative MP Ann Widdecombe said some were treating babies like "designer goods".
But Susan Seenan of the Infertility Network UK advised caution. "Anyone who has undergone IVF knows what a long and difficult experience it can be. To make the decision to then terminate that pregnancy cannot be one that anyone takes lightly. I would imagine there are some pretty good reasons."
Laura Riley, a spokesperson for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said: "Women and couples who have had donor insemination or IVF to become pregnant are unfortunately no more immune from the harsh vagaries of life than others who are lucky enough to be able to conceive naturally. Any woman can experience overwhelming life difficulties, such as intense relationship pressures or the diagnosis of a serious or lethal fetal medical problem. These may mean that she feels unable to continue with the pregnancy."
So, let's cut through the BPAS propaganda. Women and couples, now, who actively pursue a 'planned pregnancy' are justified in aborting the unborn child on what grounds, again? Sorry, can we have that again, Laura?
'Overwhelming life difficulties, such as intense relationship pressures or the diagnosis of a serious or lethan fetal medical problem.'
Imperfect babies are aborted, even if pregnancies are planned as if Marie Stopes herself was guiding them through each stage! What this amounts to is, in fact, a total self-destruction of the argument of the 'pro-choice' lobby, of whom the BPAS is most certainly one. We are consistently told in our society, and lied to, that to be 'pro-choice' is a good thing because it is a woman's 'right' over her body. Not only that but the decision about pregnancy rests on a premise of 'reproductive rights'.
Yet, these couples are suddenly doing an u-turn having actually planned the pregnancy for ages and then saying, "Actually, nah, we weren't really that into having a baby." Or, "In fact, I just wanted to find out whether I could have one and now I know so I can rest assured that I wasn't totally infertile after all." Or, "I got pregnant eventually after ages of trying but just realised in the end that motherhood wasn't for me and, besides, the doctors said it might be disabled and that is like so not cool." Or, "I had an affair with someone else and so we split. Bad timing and all, but I couldn't handle the relationship and found someone new. So, in the end I told her let's just give up on the whole thing. The baby was inconvenient for me. Can't believe I was so into the idea for 7 years."
These 'women and couples' are treating babies like a package from DHL. 'Baby not quite as we had planned. Unwanted arrival. Damaged goods. May have been cleft palate. No good showing him around at dinner parties. Return to sender. Address unknown. Recipient has since moved on.'
It is totally outrageous. These couples wanted babies. They wanted them so much they were willing to go to any lengths at all to have one. Other foetuses died in the process of obtaining one and then, when they realise that they're having relationship difficulties or there are foetal imperfections, they destroy that which has been unnaturally created. Oh my. People think things were bad under the Third Reich. Ladies and gentleman, here is a newsflash. Hitler won the Second World War!