Labour and Conservative MPs have spoken up for a bid to “combat the socially destructive practice” of sex-selective abortion.
In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, the nine MPs say they cannot “sit idly by” as such abortions take place.
They were responding to a letter from academics who had criticised the pro-life plan and said that it “erodes women’s reproductive rights”.
Fiona Bruce is behind the move which would make sex-selective abortion explicitly illegal.
In their letter the MPs comment: “It is about the abortion of girls purely on the ground of their sex – the first form of violence against women and girls.”
They say: “For too long, confused interpretations of the 1967 Abortion Act have passed unchallenged”, adding: “We cannot sit idly by as a preference for sons results in selective abortion of daughters”.
They also reject concerns that the ban would require ethnic profiling, saying this was “not true for female genital mutilation – a predominantly cultural practice – and need not be true for sex-selective abortion”.
Mary Glindon MPAngie Bray MP
The MPs, who include Labour’s Mary Glindon and Conservative Angie Bray, concluded: “Our amendment to the Serious Crime Bill affords the Government an opportunity to combat the socially destructive practice of sex-selective abortion and sends a clear message about its illegality.”
So far 100 MPs have added their names to the amendment, which could come into law before the General Election in May.