August 7, 1996 in Nation/World

Twins’ Mom Offered Help, But Abortion Done

Associated Press

Reports that a woman planned to abort one of her twins because she couldn’t afford two babies led to a public outcry and offers of large amounts of cash - until a hospital revealed Tuesday the fetus already had been aborted.

Anti-abortion groups even went so far as to get a court order Tuesday to prevent the woman from going through with the procedure, before the truth emerged.

“The operation has taken place,” Hammersmith Hospitals Trust said in a statement confirming earlier reports on the BBC. It said the woman was “adamant she does not want any more details put out.”

The agency did not say when the abortion was performed at Queen Charlotte Hospital. BBC radio said it was as far back as March, and Dr. Robert Winston, a fertility specialist, told BBC TV he believed it took place about a month ago.

Further details were not immediately available - including whether the woman had given birth to the other twin. Media reports described her as 28 and unmarried with one child, and said she sought the abortion because of financial difficulties.

The case received enormous media coverage and outraged anti-abortion activists just one week after a controversy over the destruction of about 3,300 frozen embryos unclaimed by couples treated at fertility clinics.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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