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Abortion provider fined £200,000 after hacker threatened to publish names

The British Pregnancy Advice Service (BPAS) has been fined £200,000 after a serious breach of the Data Protection Act revealed thousands of people’s details to a malicious hacker who threatened to publish the names of the individuals using the service.

The British Pregnancy Advice Service (BPAS) has been hacked Credit: PA

An ICO investigation found the charity did not realise its own website was storing the names, address, date of birth and telephone number of people who asked for a call back for advice on pregnancy issues.

The personal data wasn’t stored securely and a vulnerability in the website’s code allowed the hacker to access the system and locate the information.

The hacker threatened to publish the names of the individuals whose details he had accessed, though that was prevented after the information was recovered by the police following an injunction obtained by the BPAS.

Abortion clinics filmed 'giving out false advice' to women

"Independent" abortion clinics in the UK are advising women that an abortion could lead to infertility, serious health damage and a propensity to sexually abuse children.

In footage secretly obtained by The Telegraph, "trained advisers" at two Crisis Pregnancy Centres told women that the risks included a higher chance of developing breast cancer.

The centres are privately run, unregulated advice clinics, and so are not legally obligated to give out medically accurate information.

One of the undercover reporters in the investigation was told at the Central London Women's Centre in London that there is “an increased statistical likelihood of child abuse” because having an abortion meant breaking “natural barriers that are around the child that you don’t cross”.

Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston, a former GP, has called for Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to order a review into abortion counselling. Credit: PA

A spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists - the UK’s medical authority on pregnancy and women’s reproductive health - said there was no scientific evidence to suggest an abortion put women at a greater risk of breast cancer or abusing a child.


Vigil marks one year since death of Savita Halappanavar

A candlelit vigil saw people meet at St Stephens green in Dublin to mark one year since the death of Savita Halappanavar. Savita was an Indian dentist who died in an Irish hospital in October last year after being denied an abortion as she miscarried.

Andy Foley and Karen Spillane join crowds attending a Candlelit vigil. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire
People attend a Candlelit vigil at St Stephens green in Dublin. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Gender abortion decision 'difficult, but balanced'

The Director of Public Prosecutions has said the decision not to prosecute two doctors accused of arranging abortions based on the sex of an unborn baby was "very difficult and finely balanced".

Keir Starmer pledged to reveal more about why the conclusion was reached in due course.

This was a very difficult and finely balanced decision. It was based on the individual facts of the case; it is not a policy decision.

But in light of concerns raised today, I have decided that it would be sensible to put into the public domain the case specific reasons for not prosecuting in much greater detail.

– Keir Starmer, Director of Public Prosecutions

Gender abortion accused did not carry out procedure

The General Medical Council can "better deal" with the case of two doctors accused of arranging abortions based on the sex of an unborn baby, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said today.

Jenny Hopkins, the deputy chief crown prosecutor for CPS London, said the fact that the abortions had not actually taken place influenced the decision not to proceed with a prosecution.

While the abortions did not take place, attempting to commit a criminal offence - that is, doing something that goes further than just preparing to commit it - is also a crime in its own right under the Criminal Attempts Act 1981.

Having carefully considered the evidence, we have concluded that although the case is not straightforward, on balance there is enough evidence to justify bringing proceedings for an attempt. Accordingly, we have considered whether a prosecution is required in the public interest.

Hunt: Gender abortions 'completely unacceptable'

The Health Secretary has written to the Government's senior law officer for "urgent clarification" after two doctors accused of arranging abortions based on the sex of an unborn baby avoided prosecution.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Jeremy Hunt said abortion on the grounds of gender selection was "against the law and completely unacceptable" and had written to Attorney General Dominic Grieve about the decision.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided that although there was enough evidence to justify prosecution, it would not be in the public interest.


Abortion law 'confers constitutional rights for women'

11 women travelled from Ireland to Britain every day last year to have an abortion, new figures revealed yesterday. Taoiseach Enda Kenny said it was time the women of Ireland have the rights they deserve enshrined in law.

We had 21 years of inaction, 21 years of inaction.

What's going on here is medical clarity and legal certainty for the women of our country who have had a constitutional right conferred upon them.

Landmark law to allow abortion to save mother's life

Members of the pro choice movement group held a 24 hour protest outside Leinster House in Dublin ahead of the vote Credit: Press Association

The Irish parliament has passed a landmark law to enshrine a woman's right to a termination should her life be at risk, by an overwhelming majority.

The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill was drawn up following the death of Savita Halappanavar, an Indian dentist who died in an Irish hospital in October last year after being denied an abortion as she miscarried.

Her widow claimed the couple had been told a termination was not allowed because "Ireland is a Catholic country."

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