Daily Dispatches
University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff
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University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff

Vital signs: Britain's false miscarriage nightmare

Abortion

Deadly error. An investigation found that the University Hospital of Wales (UHW) used outdated scanning systems when diagnosing miscarriages. As a result, hundreds of healthy babies may have been aborted because of a false diagnosis.

The hospital was exposed when a doctor told 31-year-old Emily Wheatley her baby miscarried. But another scan done before her uterine evacuation discovered that her baby was alive and perfectly healthy. She delivered the baby girl, BBC News reported. Instead of using updated internal transvaginal scans to assess miscarriages, UHW used external Doppler ultrasound. Peter Tyndall, the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales believes UHW diagnosed false miscarriages for seven years.

Wheatley suffers from polycystic ovary syndrome and has difficulty conceiving, making the false miscarriage even more discouraging. She told BBC News, “It’s just unbelievable actually that there are potentially other women out there who have been diagnosed with having a silent miscarriage … and they potentially have got rid of healthy babies,” she said. “That frightens me.”

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Stop and think. Delaware Right to Life began a campaign this Fall in connection with Life Dynamics that urges abortion workers to think about the potential consequences of working at a dirty abortion facility.

DRL has erected six billboards saying, “Don’t let your job put you in prison,” and, “Abortion clinic workers protect yourselves.” The group launched five billboards in September, one directly across the street from a Planned Parenthood in downtown Newark, Del.

The campaign comes after three former employees from Delaware Planned Parenthood testified in April about the “meat-market style assembly-line abortions” at the Wilmington center. The abortionist at the center, Timothy Liveright, did not go to jail, but he did surrender his medical license the day after the accusations.

Webcam abortions allowed. An Iowa judge ruled last Tuesday that Planned Parenthood may continue its practice of “webcam abortions” while a statewide ban is debated in court. The ban, scheduled to take effect Nov. 6, prohibits physicians from prescribing abortion pills after visiting with women via webcam only.

On Nov. 5, Polk County District Judge Karen Romano said the Iowa Board of Medicine, which enacted the ban, had not yet supplied enough evidence that the webcam abortions were unsafe and thus granted Planned Parenthood’s request for a temporary stay. If the ban is approved by the court, it will require a doctor to be physically present when a woman is taking an abortion-inducing drug. Planned Parenthood is fighting this motion because transporting a doctor to rural areas is sometimes not possible.

But board Executive Director Mark Bowden said the decision perpetuates inadequate health care for Iowa women seeking abortions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Alissa Robertson
Alissa Robertson

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