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Breaking the abortion taboo or creating controversy?


Mariam Zaidi
WVoN co-editor

In a bold move, BBC Radio 5 live will broadcast from inside an abortion clinic in the UK next month.

Presenter Victoria Derbyshire will host a two hour special edition of her regular show from inside a yet un-named family planning clinic.

During the special programme she will interview doctors, staff and the all important patients undergoing the abortion procedure.

The hope is that the programme will allow people to understand the nature of abortion and why someone may choose it.

The move by the BBC has angered anti-abortion groups who say the show will only serve as an advert for abortion.

News of the Radio 5 live programme follows in the wake of a recent abortion gender row.

An undercover investigation by the Daily Telegraph found that women were being granted illegal abortions by doctors based on the sex of their unborn baby, with clinics apparently willing to falsify paperwork.

The report led to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley reporting the featured clinics to the police and the resignation of Cynthia Bower, the head of the Care Quality Commission – the NHS watchdog.

Speaking to The Independent, Derbyshire said: “We appreciate the sensitivity around [the show] and I would hope listeners would trust us to do it carefully.”

She added that it was not the purpose of the programme to weigh the respective merits of the “pro-life” and “pro-choice” arguments.

“The pro and anti view is well known,” she said. “Our point on that day is to bring new insights into areas of British life.”

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