Sex-Selective Abortions in the UK

Last week it was revealed that abortion clinics in the UK are performing illegal sex-selective abortions. The Daily Telegraph performed an undercover investigation and discovered these findings. Anthony Ozimic, communications director for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said, “The Telegraph’s investigation simply confirms the reality of eugenics in modern British medicine.”

Telegraph reporters went to many abortion clinics around the country accompanying pregnant women.  Of the nine facilities they visited, doctors were recorded in three of these facilities allowing abortions “after being told the mother-to-be did not want to go ahead with the pregnancy because of the sex of the unborn child.”

In one instance a pregnant woman told the doctor she did not wish to have the baby because of the baby’s sex. The doctor asked if she was certain of her reasons to which the woman responded, “Oh, absolutely … I can’t have it, this baby, because of the gender, so that’s just how it is.” The abortion was scheduled the following week without any further questions.

The Health Department is now looking into abortion practices. The UK has laws that require abortions only be performed for approved reasons and sex-selection is currently not an approved reason. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley responded to the revelations, saying he is “extremely concerned.” Sex selection is still technically illegal in Britain, and Lansley called it “morally wrong.” He followed up by saying “If this is happening not only is it criminal act but it entails professionals falsifying the reports. It’s a shocking thing to have happening. We will follow it up urgently,” he said.

Currently women in the UK can have an abortion that fits into a criteria which includes up to 24 weeks into pregnancy, reasons of “mental illness,” and if the woman has other existing children. However, there is no system in place to check this criteria which leaves women to come up with any reason to have an abortion.

In 1990 the UK had the Abortion Act amended which deemed it acceptable for abortions to be performed on children with disabilities, “a change that pro-life leaders denounced as outright endorsement of eugenics.” Since this Act has been in place “Thousands of British children are killed every year for non-lethal conditions such as Down’s syndrome or cleft palate or club foot.”

Hopefully as this investigation continues, the UK will make some positive changes in the laws currently in place to require more supervision and accountability. The government’s first priority should always be to protect human life.

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