Abortion: What We Need To Know

Channel 4


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As the 40th anniversary of abortion law nears and the Select Committee on Science and Technology meet to hear evidence investigating scientific developments relating to abortion, reporter Deborah Davies and producer Karen Edwards investigate how new developments in science are affecting the debate over abortion.

The film investigates the latest medical advancements that are impacting on pre term infant survival, including for those born at less than the current legal UK limit for abortion of 24 weeks gestation.

It also investigates the hotly debated areas of abortion is foetal pain. At what point does foetal movement stop being a reflex and start being what could be a reaction to pain? Leading experts in both the fields of foetal development and nervous systems debate the current timescales.

This groundbreaking documentary contains explicit imagery of abortion procedures and aborted foetuses within the context of dispassionate, non-partisan and meticulously accurate reporting.

Featuring a new survey into doctors' opinions on abortion, the film reveals how and why many doctors want the law changed and lifts the lid on the debate that is happening in private within the medical profession.

The film sparked much heated debate because abortion is, as Tom Sutcliffe in the Independent put it, ‘one of those topics where an enormous number of people start with a conclusion and then work out what evidence will best support it.’

"GPs back abortion curbs; Two out of three want to see a cut in time limit on terminations, says survey’ "
- Daily Mail

"A dispassionate look at a very emotive subject that reveals …painful truths’"
- Daily Mirror

- Polly Toynbee, The Guardian

"We cannot dismiss from discussion the images from the Dispatches documentary, however much we might want to. Perhaps we should describe them as the inconvenient truth"
- Dominic Lawson, The Independent

First Broadcast

October 17, 2007



Producer Director

Karen Edwards


Deborah Davies

Executive Producer

Eamonn Matthews


If you are a broadcaster who would like to buy this programme please contact Quicksilver Media for distribution details: Tel:+44 (0) 1865 596 252 

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