In a nutshell
A combination of two votes on whether to make sex-selective abortion explicitly illegal.
On 4 November 2014, MPs voted almost unanimously for a motion which would make sex-selective abortion explicitly illegal, after growing concern that the law is unclear.
Fiona Bruce MP tabled the Ten Minute Rule Bill seeking to put beyond doubt that sex-selective abortion is not permitted in UK law. The Bill passed by 181 votes to one. However, as a backbencher’s Bill it was never expected to become law.
On 23 February 2015 the House of Commons debated an amendment, tabled by Mrs Bruce, to the Serious Crime Bill to make sex-selective abortion explicitly illegal. The result declared was that MPs voted to reject the amendment by 292 to 201.
The coalition Government held a free vote while Labour MPs were directed to oppose the amendment.
How we recorded the vote
- Voted for an explicit ban on sex-selective abortion
- Voted against an explicit ban on sex-selective abortion
- Abstained or was absent on the vote to explicitly ban sex-selective abortion
An MP’s most recent vote has been taken to be their current position. So for an MP who cast a different vote on 23 February 2015 to their vote on 4 November 2014, we have used the most recent vote – that of the amendment to the Serious Crime Bill.
For example, Matthew Offord MP voted in favour of the ban on sex-selective abortion in November, but voted against the Serious Crime Bill amendment in February. Therefore his voting record says that he voted against an explicit ban on sex-selective abortion.
For MPs who abstained or were absent on 23 February 2015, their vote on the Ten Minute Rule Bill is taken to be their current position.
For example, Ann Clwyd MP voted in favour of the Ten Minute Rule Bill on explicitly outlawing sex-selective abortion in November 2014, but was absent or abstained from the vote in February. Her voting record takes her November vote and states that she voted for an explicit ban on sex-selective abortion.