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The Heart and the Abyss

winter 2016

From triple helix - winter 2016 - The Heart and the Abyss [p20-21]

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Preventing Abortion Ward
Biemans SJ (Society of Jesuits)

Connorcourt Publishing, 2016, 390pp, ISBN 9781925138962

Reviewed by Mark Houghton, GP in Sheffield

Is abortion a safe and simple solution for unplanned pregnancy? Everyone should be ready to answer that question because 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the British abortion law. This book is a minefield of information on the unsafe side-effects of abortion. It opens up the realities of abortion risks to patients before they choose.

Ward Biemans is a Dutchspeaking Jesuit academic. He compares the British and Dutch abortion scenes. Compared to the Netherlands, one reason for the higher teenage abortion rate in Britain is the absence of a legal requirement for parental consent for teenage abortion. Citing evidence from across the world, he says teenage abortion can be reduced by 10-20% where there is compulsory parental notification.

Biemans is compelling reading, but not easy! He compassionately explores the heart-breaking medical side-effects on women; and also the psychology, politics, law, theology, history, finances, feminism, autonomy and ethics of this divisive procedure.

How do we know about risks such as suicide and preterm birth after abortion? Because medical mass abortion has terminated about 1.5 billion unborn humans in 50 years, leaving countless damaged women and partners who testify. I was glad his closing chapter brings hope for reducing the numbers of unwanted pregnancies and the damage abortion causes.

Article written by Mark Houghton

More from triple helix: winter 2016

  • Christmas: the miracle of the incarnation
  • NIPT
  • The Sustainable Development Goals one year on
  • PrEP
  • Sex education programmes are largely ineffectual
  • Wear your values
  • Supporting colleagues in challenging times
  • Finance in the early years
  • NHS in crisis
  • Boundary stones in bioethics
  • Gender and social change
  • Overcoming stress and burnout
  • Spiritual Care at the end of life
  • Pressed but not crushed
  • The Heart and the Abyss
  • Heart Attitudes
  • Dementia: Pathways to Hope
  • Lessons from a hospital bed
  • Inventing the Universe
  • The Life you Never Expected
  • eutychus
  • A patient I should have cried over
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