Sex-selective abortion could be outlawed in months
Fri, 23 Jan 2015
Abortion carried out on the basis of sex could be outlawed in the UK within months.
More than 70 MPs, representing each of the main parties, have put their names to an amendment to the Government’s Serious Crime Bill to prevent abortion on the grounds of an unborn baby’s sex.
At the end of last year, Fiona Bruce MP tabled the Abortion (Sex-Selection) Bill which received overwhelming support in the Commons.
MPs voted 181-1 to make the practice illegal but, as a Ten Minute Rule Bill, it had no legal force. Amending the Serious Crime Bill could bring it into law before May’s General Election.
Mrs Bruce, the Conservative MP for Congleton, said that sex-selective abortion is an “issue which unites people who are usually on opposite sides of the abortion debate”.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph she stressed: “The Government has persistently denied that there is compelling evidence of sex-selective abortion in the UK.”
No ‘permissible reason’
“Yet this has not been the last word on the issue because the Government statistics do not reflect the reality”, she added.
Mrs Bruce said that her amendment seeks to “give the government an opportunity to think creatively and compassionately about how to deal with the problem”.
It also seeks to “make crystal clear that the sex of an unborn child is not a permissible reason for an abortion in UK law”.
More than 70 members have supported the amendment already meaning that it could be written into law before the next Government.
The Daily Telegraph carried out an investigation in 2012 which caught two doctors offering abortions to women because they told them their baby was the ‘wrong sex’.
In 2013, the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute the two doctors saying that it was not in the public interest.
Mrs Bruce’s call to stop sex-selective abortion was criticised by pro-abortion sexual health charity Brook, which described the Bill as “anti-choice”.