Attempts to bring charges against two doctors accused of allowing sex-selective abortions have been blocked by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Dr Prabha Sivaraman and Dr Palaniappan Rajmohan were both filmed in 2012 agreeing to arrange abortions on the grounds of sex during an undercover Telegraph investigation.
In 2013, the CPS claimed it was not “in the public interest” to charge the pair, leading to pro-life campaigner Aisling Hubert bringing a private prosecution. The case was backed by Christian Concern.
Really sad day
Now the CPS has again said that it would not be in the “public interest” to pursue the case, but did admit that there is “sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction”.
Miss Hubert said: “I believe this is a really sad day for women in the UK.
“We have abhorred the practice in China and India, where millions of (unborn) baby girls are killed simply for being girls.
“Yet when a case like this is exposed in the UK, the CPS actively works to stop a lawful prosecution.”
Any group or individual may start a private prosecution if they have evidence that a crime has been committed, and in most cases the CPS intervenes to either take on pursuing the prosecution or formally drop it.
Ann Furedi, the Chief Executive of Britain’s largest single abortion provider BPAS, welcomed the CPS’ decision and said now abortion should be fully decriminalised.
“The time really has come to take abortion out of the criminal law and regulate it like other women’s healthcare procedures”, she said.
Last month, MPs rejected the opportunity to make sex-selective abortion explicitly illegal as they defeated an amendment from Fiona Bruce.
Powerful accounts of the abuse some women face were raised, as well as concerns that objections to the amendment were “flatly untrue” and “offensive”.
However MPs voted to reject Mrs Bruce’s bid by 292 to 201 according to Hansard. The Government held a free vote while Labour MPs were directed to oppose the amendment.