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£40 online training course on “feticide” slammed as ‘horrific’

Pro-life group, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, have condemned the offering of an online training course on feticide by Britain’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

The online course, offered by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is described as “an advanced training course on feticide” — and costs £40.

Feticide, a form of late-term abortion, usually involves a lethal injection into the unborn baby’s heart to stop the foetal heartbeat. It is performed on babies after 22 weeks gestation, with ultrasound control used to guide the abortion doctor to the foetal circulation.

The injection of potassium chloride is used to ensure there is no risk of a live birth.

The RCOG’s own guidelines on feticide detail the procedure: “Where a decision to abort a pregnancy after 21 weeks and 6 days is taken, feticide should be routinely offered…in cases where…the abortion is not for fetal abnormality and is being undertaken after 21 weeks and 6 days of gestation, failure to perform feticide could result in a live birth and survival, which contradicts the intention of the abortion.”

A study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology clarifies that potassium chloride is injected into the baby’s heart to induce a fatal heart attack. As recently noted, the administration of potassium chloride is considered so painful that both the American Veterinary Medical Association and the authorities in charge of USA executions consider it necessary to firstly administer an anaesthetic and/or a paralytic to avoid pain or suffering to the animal or the prisoner being put to death.

The advanced online training course offered by the RCOG tells medical professionals they will have the ability to provide a definition of feticide once the learning has been completed, along with an understanding of ‘why, when and how feticide might be performed.’ Participants will also ‘understand that there are variations in practice, which reflect the divergent views of patients and clinicians.’

Credit: RCOG (Screeenshot)

The course does not cover feticide for the purpose of reduction of multiple pregnancies, the RCOG states.

Catherine Mockler of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children described the course as “horrific” — hitting out at the health body over the offering of the online training.

“It’s horrific to think one can simply log in to a portal, pay £40, and learn how to end the lives of unborn babies. Hiding behind the callous term “feticide”, the Royal College of Gynaecologists justify the killing of unborn children,” she said.

“The RCOG has long since lost touch with its purpose, that is, to promote the health of women and, by extension, their babies.

“Having promoted abortion for years, they further disregard the dignity of the most innocent lives by offering this course. We must stand up for the most vulnerable in society and speak up against such a barbaric mindset in medicine; this atrocity is in plain view for all to see.”

A 2020 paper examining the practice of late-term abortion and feticide in Irish maternity hospitals shed light on the jarring procedure – with one doctor likening feticide to “stabbing a baby in the heart.”

As reported by Gript at the time, three medical professionals from various departments of University College Cork sought to look at the experience of 10 Fetal Medicine Specialists who provided abortion in Ireland in cases where the baby had a severe life-limiting condition. The study shows that Irish doctors were deeply divided on provision of late-term abortion, and that even those carrying out the procedure saw it as ‘brutal’, ‘awful’ and ‘emotionally difficult’.

“I remember getting sick out in the corridors afterwards because I thought it (feticide) was such an awful procedure and so dreadful,” one doctor was quoted as saying.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaegologists, as a body, has advocated for the decriminalisation of abortion – while maintaining that an unborn child cannot feel pain before 24 weeks gestation. However, studies carried out in recent years have suggested that unborn babies may feel pain before Britain’s 24-week abortion limit.

One such study, ‘Reconsidering Fetal Pain’ – published in the British Journal of Medical Ethics in 2020 – came to the conclusion that  neuroscience “cannot definitively rule out foetal pain before 24 weeks.”

The scientists who authored the study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), had divergent views on abortion, but concluded: “We consider the possibility that the mere experience of pain, without the capacity for self reflection, is morally significant. We believe that foetal pain does not have to be equivalent to a mature adult human experience to matter morally, and so foetal pain might be considered as part of a humane approach to abortion.”

The study said that unborn babies may be able to feel “something like pain” as early as 13 weeks. Lead author of the study, British professor Stuart Derbyshire, previously wrote in the BMJ in 2006 that avoiding bringing up the issue of foetal pain to women seeking abortions was “sound policy based on good evidence that foetuses cannot experience pain.” Prof Derbyshire has previously acted as a consultant to Britain’s Pro-Choice Forum, and American Abortion provider Planned Parenthood.

The offering of the online course comes as a surge in abortions was recorded during the first five six of last year in Britain. As reported by The Times in June, figures from the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care showed that 123,219 abortions took place in England and Wales between January and June 2022. This was an increase of 17,731 on the same six-month period a year earlier. Abortion providers including BPAS have said that the demand for abortions has “only continued to increase.”

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