Abotion Debate in Parliament – sex selection

by Colin Dexter

Fiona Bruce MP.   I beg to move,

That leave be given to bring in a Bill to clarify the law relating to abortion on the basis of sex-selection;
and for connected purposes.

Sex-selective abortions are happening in the UK, and there is widespread confusion over the law, which is why this Bill is needed. The Bill is extremely straightforward, merely clarifying that nothing in section 1 of the Abortion Act 1967 allows a pregnancy to be terminated on the grounds of the sex of the unborn child. It is a shame that this clarification is needed. Successive Health Ministers and even the Prime Minister have been very clear on the matter. They state that abortion for reasons of gender alone is illegal. The Prime Minister has described the practice as “simply appalling”. But these Ministers are being ignored. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, which performs around 60,000 abortions a year, flatly disagrees with them. Even today, it is advising women, in one of its leaflets and on its website, that abortion for reasons of foetal sex is not illegal, because the law is “silent on the matter”.

The BMA represents every doctor who permits or performs an abortion and BPAS is the UK’s biggest abortion provider. We cannot sit idly by as it contradicts Ministers over a practice that the Government state is illegal. Urgent clarification from this House is needed.

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