Theresa May: Ban sex-selective abortion in the UK urgently
A BBC investigation has revealed evidence that new NIPT pre-natal tests are being used on a widespread basis to determine the sex of babies early in pregnancy and women are coming under intense pressure to undergo sex-selective abortions.
You can watch the segment on the investigation here: https://stopgendercide.org/#investigation. This has lead to renewed calls for the Government to take action on sex-selective abortion.
The 1967 Abortion Act does not make abortion on the grounds of sex explicitly illegal. The British Medical Association (BMA) have outlined cases in which they believe sex-selective abortion to be permissible on mental health grounds. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) which performs more than 60,000 abortions per year in the UK take still another view. In their literature, they claim that abortion for gender is not illegal.
A 2012 investigation by the Telegraph revealed that doctors were agreeing to provide sex-selective abortions ‘no questions asked’. There is widespread support for an explicit ban on sex-selective abortion, with recent polling undertaken by ComRes showing that 89% of the general population and 91% of women agree that gender-selective abortion should be explicitly banned by the law.
Rani Bilkhu from the organisation Jeena International says many women say they have suffered violence or been coerced into abortions because they were pregnant with a second or third girl.
Jeena International wants sex-selective abortion to be viewed as a form of honour-based violence.
"No wonder they're resorting to sex-selection abortion because they've got no choice," she says. "They don't want to be homeless, they don't want their marriage to fail - all because they couldn't give birth to a boy."
The online forums, uncovered by the BBC investigation, where British women discussed using NIPT include thousands of posts where women express their anxiety about having a girl.
One said: "I need a son to heal me... my only bet is NIPT followed by continuation, only if it's a boy."
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