The head of BPAS, formerly the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, has said gender abortions are well within the law.
Ann Furedi, the chief executive of BPAS, said doctors already legally approve abortions for reasons which are not listed in the Abortion Act such as if a teenager wants to end her pregnancy in order to take school exams.
Writing for online magazine Spiked, she said: “You can’t be pro-choice except when you don’t like the choice, because that’s not pro-choice at all.”
Two weeks ago, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced that no charges would be brought against two doctors who approved abortions because the baby is female following a Daily Telegraph investigation.
Ann Furedi believes the CPS is in the right, as “there is no legal requirement to deny a woman an abortion if she has a sex preference, providing that the legal grounds are still met”.
She said: “The law is silent on the matter of gender selection”.
Last week Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator, said that in practice Britain offers “abortion on demand” as the law is almost entirely ignored.
And the ConservativeHome blog ‘the deep end’ comments that making gender abortions a specific offence against the law would “open up a debate that supporters of abortion on demand would not wish to take place”.
Ann Furedi said the gender of a baby is sometimes “a factor” in a woman’s abortion request, and should be approved if the doctor thinks this is best for the mother’s wellbeing.
She said: “Those calling for tighter controls to prevent sex-selection abortion are utterly mistaken if they believe that would help women.”
She added: “Supporters of clampdowns on sex-selection abortion are doing as much to undermine the future of women’s abortion access as those anti-choice activists who protest outside clinics.”