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Motion to condemn incinerating the remains of aborted and miscarried babies supported by only 14 members of Parliament

by | Apr 3, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

Addenbrooke Hospital in Cambridge Getty Images

Addenbrooke Hospital in Cambridge
Getty Images

When it was discovered that the remains of over 15,000 aborted and miscarried babies were burned–like other “waste”—and in some cases used to heat hospitals in the United Kingdom, there was plenty of indignation and assurance that this could not go on. (See “How we got to the point where the bodies of aborted babies are used to heat hospitals in the U.K.”).

There were protestations of innocence galore and insistence that burning the bodies of aborted and miscarried children was not acceptable. “Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director, has written to all NHS [National Health Service] trusts to tell them the practice must stop,” according to the Daily Telegraph.

But Nick Hallett, writing for, tells us a motion to condemn incinerating the babies’ remains was signed by just 14 Members of Parliament. He writes pointedly

“The number of MPs signing the motion on foetal remains stands in contrast to others, such as one on tax havens in Africa with 31 signatures, another calling for the preservation on the ban on hunting with hounds that has 27 signatures, and 33 signatories expressing concern about the Bahrain Grand Prix.

“A motion on culling badgers last year received 149 signatures.”

The motion came in the form of an “Early Day Motion.” Hallett explains that

“Early Day Motions are designed to allow MPs to draw attention to a particular cause or event that may otherwise be missed in parliamentary business. If a motion receives enough signatures, it may be debated in the House of Commons.”

The exact language is as follows:

“That this House is deeply concerned about recent reports of the incineration of foetal remains by NHS trusts, two of which were found to have burnt the bodies of aborted or miscarried foetuses and babies to generate power for heat; and calls on the Care Quality Commission to investigate fully UK hospitals to understand how widespread this practice has been.”

The credit for this grisly discovery went to Channel 4’s Dispatches. Ten hospitals confessed to burning the corpses of these babies “along with other hospital rubbish,” while two admitted the remains were used to generate power to provide heat.

Channel 4’s Dispatches found that Addenbrooke Hospital in Cambridge, “incinerated 797 babies below 13 weeks gestation at their own ‘waste to energy’ plant. The mothers were told the remains had been ‘cremated,’ “ reported Sarah Knapton, a Science Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph.

“Another ‘waste to energy’ facility at Ipswich Hospital, operated by a private contractor, incinerated 1,101 foetal remains between 2011 and 2013.”

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Categories: International