The confusion in the UK over whether sex-selective abortion is illegal is about to be settled as Parliament is expected to pass a bill banning gender-based abortion this week, according to The Telegraph.
The confusion arises due to the 1967 Abortion Act not having language that specifically outlaws sex-selective abortion.
As a result, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), the UK’s biggest abortion provider, has defended female gendercide on the grounds that as the Act is “silent” on the subject, sex-selective abortion is permitted.
Moreover, last year, the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prompted outrage from pro-life advocates when it issued a statement saying doctors would not be prosecuted if they carry out abortions based only on the child’s sex.
Keir Starmer, director of public prosecutions, issued the statement to explain why authorities decided not to prosecute two abortionists caught on camera agreeing to sex-selective abortions. Starmer said the law “does not prohibit” such abortions.
The two abortionists were filmed as part of an undercover exposé by The Telegraph.
Fiona Bruce, the pro-life Conservative MP who tabled the Abortion (Sex-Selection) Bill, said that MPs across party lines support her measure as a means to clarify the law, and to ban “the ultimate form of discrimination” against women.
“This isn't seeking to change the law, that's the important thing, we are only seeking to clarify it and also to eradicate any confusion that there might be about this issue,” she said.
“It [the Act] never was intended to be this. It has been pushed way beyond the boundaries and I can say quite confidently, from the support I've had on this proposed bill, that my view is shared by a huge number of my colleagues here.
“And that's right across the political spectrum, that is from many different parties and it is very interesting that some of the women who are supporting my bill you would consider would be in many cases diametrically opposed to me on many issues relating to women, on this one they are standing full-square with me,” Bruce said.
“It goes along with forced marriage, it goes along with female genital mutilation, it is the ultimate form of discrimination,” she stressed, stating that, “We want to send out a signal, which I believe will happen with the strength of support I hope to obtain, a signal to anyone who is procuring or providing an abortion on this ground that they must stop, that it is against the law and they risk a criminal conviction.”
Mary Glindon, Labour MP for North Tyneside, wrote in support of the Abortion (Sex Selection) Bill in The Spectator.
“Sex-selective abortion should be an issue around which everyone can rally, whatever their view on abortion as a whole. It is a clear instance of unjust discrimination and its mass use has caused severe population imbalances in parts of China and India,” Glindon wrote.
“This situation cannot continue indefinitely; the issue is too important for such confusion to reign. Abortion is often a highly divisive issue, but abortion on grounds of sex unites people on all sides of the debate – not least for the sake of women who may feel pressured into having a sex-selective abortion. The website www.stopgendercide.org enables you to contact your MPs about this matter. I hope you use it,” Glindon stated.
A group of pro-life activists who took action to stop sex-selective abortion in the UK has set up the Stop Gendercide website to support MP Bruce's bill and provide information.
“Above all, the Bill seeks to remove all doubt that gender selective abortion is not permissible in UK law,” the group states. “The Bill will also provide the Government with an opportunity to consider what help can be offered to women who are under pressure to abort on the grounds of gender.”