Women are being granted abortions after telling doctors their baby is the ‘wrong sex’, a national newspaper undercover investigation has revealed.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has reported the paper’s information to the police and said carrying out an abortion on the grounds of gender alone is “morally repugnant”.
The Chief Medical Officer is writing to all abortion clinics, NHS hospitals and Primary Care Trusts, to “remind them of their responsibilities and the requirements” under abortion legislation.
The Daily Telegraph’s investigation found three instances of doctors offering to arrange abortions after being told that the women did not want the baby because of its sex.
On one occasion Prabha Sivaraman, who works for both private clinics and NHS hospitals in Manchester, was filmed telling a woman: “I don’t ask questions. If you want a termination, you want a termination.”
The newspaper also recorded a doctor at a Birmingham abortion clinic admitting that an abortion he was granting was tantamount to “female infantacide”.
In an editorial yesterday, the Telegraph said its investigation “raises a host of disturbing questions”.
The newspaper added: “The investigation has also confirmed that abortion on demand, often dismissed as a myth, is in fact routine.”
And it said that “the UK is developing an unenviable reputation for the commercialisation” of abortion.
The investigation involved women who were happily pregnant going to nine clinics in different parts of the country with an undercover reporter.
Mr Lansley, writing in today’s Daily Telegraph, said: “Abortion in this country is not available on demand”. He added: “The potential penalty for breaking abortion legislation is imprisonment. Doctors could be struck off.
“And we will not hesitate to pursue any evidence that comes into our hands.
“Anyone who flouts the law can be assured that they will end up feeling its full force.”
Following the initial revelations, the chief executive of the private clinic where Prabha Sivaraman worked insisted that it only offered abortions “on medical grounds”.
The Manchester clinic now says it has “suspended clinical contact” with Miss Sivaraman.
The abortion clinic in Birmingham declined to comment on the disclosures.