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MPs seek to outlaw sex-selective abortion

MPs are trying to clarify the law on sex-selective abortion (PA)

British MPs are tabling a parliamentary amendment today which would outlaw sex-selective abortion.

Seventy-three MPs signed an amendment to the Serious Crime Bill which would clarify that the Abortion Act does not permit a pregnancy to be terminated on the grounds of the sex of the unborn child.

If selected for debate at the next legislative stage, the amendment will be voted on and, if ratified by a majority of MPs, it will become law.

Fiona Bruce MP said: “The amendment has two aims. First, to oblige the Government to think of ways to support women who are under pressure to abort on grounds of the sex of their baby. Second, to consolidate current law, which is necessary to prevent false information being distributed to women. Still today, BPAS, Britain’s biggest abortion provider, insists that sex-selective abortion is not illegal. We must battle the prejudices which give rise to the abhorrent practice of sex-selective abortion. It would be wrong to look the other way as women and girls continue to suffer.”

Rani Bilkhu, founder of Jeena International, and spokeswoman for StopGendercide.org, said: “The Government has been clear that sex-selective abortion is illegal. But the UK’s biggest abortion provider BPAS continues to contradict them. It has been very upsetting to see some people claim that there is no evidence of sex-selective abortion in the UK. We know it is happening because we have been continually supporting women for nearly a decade who have had them or are being forced or coerced in having them. In their desperation to oppose this initiative, some radical commentators have said that there is no way to help women like those we deal with except through racial profiling.

“This is nonsense, and if the same argument were made about FGM and forced marriages, people would run a mile. We know sex-selective abortions are happening in the UK and the time has come to face up to it. People speak about choice. The women who we deal with rarely have a choice. Many are forced or coerced to abort simply because they are girls, this is the first act of violence against women and girls. We are supporting Fiona Bruce and her colleagues because it is the right approach, making a clear statement about the law, and providing the means for the Government to take practical action and to send a clear message to all stakeholders including communities that practice sex selection abortions is not only acceptable but against the law.”