BBC criticised for withholding abortion information after Call The Midwife episode
"There continues to be a debate about abortion in the UK."
The BBC have been criticised for failing to share relevant abortion information following a recent episode of Call The Midwife.
The episode, broadcast at the beginning of this month, followed a woman named Jeannie who discovered that she was experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.
The mother-of-two was told that she couldn't have an abortion by both her husband and her doctor, so she opted to attend to a backstreet clinic.
The episode ended with Jeannie suffering fatal consequences as a result of her unwanted pregnancy - an outcome that struck a chord with many viewers at the time.
— Call the Midwife (@CallTheMidwife1) February 3, 2019
Afterwards, a message appeared on screen directing viewers to the BBC Action Line for more information on the issues raised in the programme. However, at the time, no information about abortion services were available on the website.
The Independent reports that the BBC initially decided not to include any information because the law relating to abortion does not apply to Northern Ireland.
"There continues to be debate about abortion in the UK," a spokesperson said.
"The Abortion Act 1967 reformed the law relating to abortion but does not apply in Northern Ireland, where the framework for abortion therefore differs from other parts of UK."
They also called abortion a "contentious" issue.
— BBC One (@BBCOne) February 3, 2019
The BBC have since updated the website to include relevant information about abortion services in England, Scotland, And Wales.
The broadcaster was criticised by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) for failing to make the information available after the programme's airing.
They said that abortion was not "contentious" and urged viewers of the episode to complain.
You can complain to the #BBC here: https://t.co/Y5sZEwctIf#Abortion has been legal in UK for over 50 yrs. It is the most commonly performed gynaecological procedure. 1 in 3 women will have an abortion in her lifetime. BBC should provide info.#CallTheMidwife #NotControversial pic.twitter.com/KpdeeySoHz
— BPAS (@BPAS1968) February 14, 2019