Welcome to another week.
A woman who says she was repeatedly raped by paedophiles in Telford during her childhood, has told the national media that the attacks were so awful that she tried to commit suicide before leaving the town to escape her abusers.
During the course of the interview, the woman, who is now in her thirties, explains that she had several abortions after falling pregnant by the paedophiles who raped her. The number of abortions she had is not mentioned, or whether they were carried out by the NHS or a private clinic, though the article suggests that they were performed whilst the woman was still a minor.
We also do not know whether the place which carried out these abortions alerted social services or the police.
Today, NHS staff involved in the abortion process are obliged to contact social services if they suspect a child is at risk of sexual abuse. And in Wales, a new law implemented in April of this year now makes it compulsory for health care professionals to report suspicions of child sexual abuse.
Tensions between pro-life and pro-choice centres also exist, and have led to some pro-life organisations based in America covering up sexual abuse and closer to home in the UK, using scare tactics to deter women from having abortions.
Abortion clinics could be viewed as an incredibly important venue for identifying and preventing further abuse of children, though little mention of them is made in recent research on child sexual abuse in the UK. They are also places where reporting abuse can sometimes be overshadowed by moral or religious principles as with pro-life pregnancy centres, or a lack of understanding as to why children may become pregnant.
The nation’s Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse has been tasked with looking at institutions which may have failed in their duty to protect children from exploitation.
Our question this week then, is just this: do you think the Inquiry should investigate abortion clinics, both NHS and private as part of its work?