Sex-selective abortion: MPs set to vote on explicit ban

MPs are set to vote on Monday on the issue of explicitly outlawing sex-selective abortions, as pressure increases on them to back a ban.

Over 100 MPs have already committed to support Fiona Bruce’s amendment to the Serious Crime Bill.

At the beginning of the month, representatives from the Islamic, Hindu and Sikh faiths joined Christian groups in speaking in support of the idea.


The issue hit the headlines in 2012 when an investigation found that some UK doctors agreed to a request to abort a pregnancy because of the unborn child’s sex.

Despite an outcry and police investigation, the Crown Prosecution Service refused to bring a case against the doctors.

Under Mrs Bruce’s amendment, sex-selective abortion would be explicitly outlawed, bringing an end to what has been called “the first form of violence against women and girls”.

In their letter to MPs, representatives from 25 organisations – including the Muslim Women’s Network, the Hindu Council and the Sikh Council – explain their particular concerns.


“We work with women who are dealing with sex-selective abortion in the UK”, they write, commenting that the signatories have a variety of views on the issue of abortion as a whole.

But they add: “We are all united in the belief that sex-selective abortion must end.”

“Our experience tells us that practical help is needed in areas where women are sometimes devalued and degraded to the extent that people try to stop them from being born.

“Not enough is being done. We believe the Government can and should play a part. This amendment provides that opportunity”, the letter says.


In November last year MPs overwhelmingly backed a Ten Minute Rule Bill from Fiona Bruce on the issue – voting 181 to one – but the Serious Crime Bill amendment would explicitly place the idea into law.

Earlier this month, MPs supporting the idea said the amendment “affords the Government an opportunity to combat the socially destructive practice of sex-selective abortion and sends a clear message about its illegality”.

For more information and simple arguments in favour of Mrs Bruce’s amendment, visit the Stop Gendercide campaign site.

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