Saturday, September 28, 2002

Seaweed harvesters on Scottish island horrified to learn the destination of their crop:

Abortion clinics. (Kelp is used to dilate the cervix):

At first, Macphee, a former scallop fisherman, said he was willing to discuss to what uses the seaweed was put as long as "specifics" were avoided. "The kelp dilators we offer are painless and make the patient feel more comfortable because they open the cervix slowly, minimising stress to the patient," he said. But he was evasive when asked if the Laminaria (seaweed) dilators were used in abortions. Later he confirmed they were. "Yes. It would be difficult to find any other way their use could be interpreted." He said he was not willing to discuss it because of the potential repercussions. "That whole area (abortions) has become so radicalised and it could cause quite considerable problems," he said. Asked if his staff knew, he replied: "Put it this way, most people you ask to go and do a job of work, they do it. Two or three have asked what they are used for but the lack of knowledge to the end use is such that even my own wife is unaware of what they are used for. "

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