Third woman enters foetus fiasco

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The Independent Online
The "cash for foetuses" fiasco hit a new low last night, when a woman who is 20 weeks pregnant with twins told a newspaper that she may abort one or both babies because her house was too small, and her marriage is threatened by their birth.

"Pro-life" groups, who last week raised thousands of pounds to halt what was thought to be the first selective termination of a twin in Britain, say they fear that some women are now being tempted to hold their unborn babies to ransom in the hope of cash handouts.

Nuala Scarisbrick, of the anti-abortion charity Life, said it would be investigated thoroughly to determine if it was a genuine case, worthy of help. "We have asked for 72 hours to look into this. We have a small sum of pounds 10,000 available but we are aware of the possibility of people seeing us as some kind of golden egg."

The development follows the bitter controversy last week over a woman who had one of her twins selectively aborted because she could not cope with two. Scarcely had that furore died down when it was revealed that a 31-year-old woman, Mandy Allwood, who was carrying eight embryos, would continue with the pregnancy after she and her partner struck a deal for up to pounds 1m with the News of the World.

The latest case, reported in the Oxford Mail, involves a woman who lives with her husband and two children in a three-bedroom house in Banbury. She said she and her husband talked about getting rid of one child, but now it might have to be both. "I don't want to get rid of either of them. He thinks it's not fair to keep one and not the other. If we had somewhere to put them it might be different, but we'd struggle so much I don't think my husband will cope with it all.

"I might have to do it for the sake of my other kids. They couldn't go without a dad and I don't think my husband will cope with the pressure of more kids. I think he'll leave and I don't want that."

Meanwhile the saga of Mandy Allwood, and her partner, Paul Hudson, 37, continued yesterday with the entrance of his mother who declared that her son was a "shameless opportunist". Sybil Wheeler added: "I think the real reason he is so happy about the pregnancy is because he believes it will make him rich."