Church in UK backs TV abortion documentary
The Catholic church in England and Wales has said that a controversial TV documentary that will show footage of an abortion "could prove a powerful anti-abortion message, highlighting the full horror".
My Foetus, to be screened this month, 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. It will be the first abortion to be shown on television in Britain.
Archbishop Peter Smith said; "Television images of an abortion, disturbing and repulsive as they undoubtedly would be, could prove a powerful anti-abortion message, highlighting the full horror of abortion. The truth of what is being done out of the public gaze is the true scandal of abortion. Every day in England and Wales there are 481 abortions on average."
In a statement, the Archbishop who is also the chairman of the department of Christian Responsibility and Citizenship of the Catholic Bishops' Conference continued; "Everyone, especially women, has a right to know what abortion really involves. If the tide of public opinion were to be turned by these disturbing images, it would be for the common good. "
But the Bishop also warned; "Women often undergo abortions in the face of terrible pressure and even fear. They must be always treated with compassion and in no way condemned. Too often they have been sold the lie that abortion is an easy option."
Viewers watching the programme will see pictures of foetuses aborted at ten, 11 and 21 weeks.
Catholic church backs channel 4 abortion documentary (Ekklesia 5/4/04)
Channel 4 defends abortion film (BBC 5/4/04)
Statement by Archbishop Peter Smith, chairman of the Department of Christian Responsibility and Citizenship of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England & Wales, on Abortion and the Channel 4 programme 'My Foetus' (Catholic Church in England & Wales 5/4/04)
Channel 4 to screen graphic film of abortion (The Observer 4/4/04)
C4 defends decision to broadcast abortion programme (Brand Republic/Media Bulletin 5/4/04)
6 Apr 2004