Daily Telegraph Report December 13th 2013
Ann Furedi, of BPAS, said the law does not prevent women from choosing a termination on the grounds of gender and she even compared it to abortion after rape.
Mrs Furedi’s comments come weeks after it was disclosed that the CPS had decided not to prosecute two doctors who were exposed by a Daily Telegraph investigation arranging terminations purely because the unborn baby was a girl.
A group of 50 MPs, drawn from across the party divide, then wrote to this newspaper warning that the decision was a “step back in the fight for gender equality” and effectively changes the law without proper authority.
Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, has written to the Attorney General pressing for a full explanation.
However, Mrs Furedi – whose charity carries out more than a quarter of abortions in England and Wales, argued that if doctors believe going ahead with the pregnancy would damage the mental health of the mother, the abortion is within the law.
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Writing for online magazine Spiked, she said: “A doctor agreeing to an abortion on grounds of rape would be breaking the law no more and no less than a doctor who agrees an abortion on grounds of sex selection,” she said.
“While it is true that the sex of the foetus is not a legal ground for abortion, nor is rape, or incest, or being 13 years old. Nor is being homeless, or abandoned, or just feeling there’s no way you can bring a child into the world… yet they are all reasons why a doctor may believe a women has met the legal grounds of abortion.”
She added: “The woman gives her reasons, the doctor decides on the grounds as set out in the law … there is no legal requirement to deny a woman an abortion if she has a sex preference, providing that the legal grounds are still met.
“The law is silent on the matter of gender selection, just as it is silent on rape.”
Since abortion was legalised in 1967, the majority of terminations have been carried out on the basis that two doctors have agreed a continuation of the pregnancy would risk the mental health of the pregnant woman or her family.
Mrs Furedi questioned whether a woman should be made to have the baby if “her family will disown her and she’ll lose her home, her husband whom she loves, and her existing children.”
Women are legally free to abort a baby because of its sex, says abortion charity head
Gender abortions: criminal charges not in ‘public interest’ says CPS
‘No need to change law to stop babies being aborted for gender’
Grieve under pressure for not prosecuting on gender abortions
See also – https://www.davidalton.net/2013/06/07/chen-guagnchengs-visit-to-the-uk-chen-is-presented-with-the-westminster-award-for-human-rights-human-life-and-human-dignity-archbishop-desmond-tutu-issues-joint-statement-with-chen/
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