Wednesday, 20 February 2013

More on the 1969 report of a baby being incinerated alive

Extracts from the archives of The Catholic Herald 18th July 1969 (with grateful thanks to my nephew Michael who did the digging)

We believe that it was this report that prompted my brother to write this poem.

Are aborted babies being burnt alive? asks woman M.P.


CONCERN that aborted foetuses were being put into hospital boilers while still alive was expressed by Mrs. Jill Knight, Conservative M.P. for Edgbaston, at a meeting of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children at Caxton Hall, London, this week.

"One of my main concerns is for the aborted foetuses." she said.
"The fact that these arc foetuses which look like babies. which kick and even cry like babies, is neither here nor there to people who term them 'aborted foetuses.'

"What about the Glasgow baby who cried after being taken off the surgical table on its way to the hospital boiler? This baby was aborted after 28 weeks and was quite strong enough to cry.

"But what about babies not strong enough to cry? Are they putting babies into boilers alive? I believe that they are."

HEARD WHIMPERING The baby referred to by Mrs. Knight was heard whimpering in a disposal bag by staff outside the operating theatre after it had been sent to the incinerator at a Glasgow hospital in January.

'Ilse (sic) baby survived for only a short time after its cries were heard.
The Glasgow jury inquiring into the baby's death found that no one was to blame. hut recommended legislation prohibiting abortion when an unborn child was "approaching viability."

Mrs. Knight said Mr. Crossman. Minister for Social Services. had recently told the House of Commons that ins foetuses of 28 weeks had been aborted last year.
"How many of these were alive?" she asked. "Too many abortions arc being carried out for cash only."

A Department of Health spokesman said later this week it could not find figures to support these figures.

The Abortion Law Reform Association accused Mrs. Knight of creating a "scare story." It had investigated the incident at the Glasgow hospital and was satisfied the foetus was dead when taken to the incinerator and had not responded to efforts to keep it alive.............


  1. The prevailing attitude is that it is a nuisance that a baby should be born alive after the killing procedure has been carried out. It is terrible that the killers might have to be subjected to hearing the baby's cries.

  2. An ex head of our Catholic secondary school, who was a great financial supporter of SPUC, told me how her son aged 19, while working as a porter at the local hospital felt he had to walk away from the job as he felt the black bin liner moving as he carried it to the incinerator. "The babies are alive mum". That was around 1966/7.

  3. Richard,I read the first two or three sentences.It's unbearable. I'll try to face it tomorrow.

  4. Thank you for publicising this terrible practice. As a one-time full-time hospital chaplain I can assure you it continued after 1967. On occasion (between 1987 and 1991) I held aborted babies ten times bigger than some babies in incubators in SCBU (Special Care Baby Units) in same hospital