Gender-based abortion investigated23rd February 2012
An urgent inquiry has been launched after claims that doctors agreed to carry out abortions on the ground of the gender of unborn babies.
The investigation from the Department of Health follows secret filming by the Daily Telegraph of doctors at a number of British abortion clinics.
It has been claimed that some agreed to terminations when women decided they did not want the baby because of its sex.
Health secretary Andrew Lansley has ordered an immediate inquiry, saying it was “illegally and morally” wrong to abort foetuses on such grounds.
“I'm extremely concerned to hear about these allegations. I've asked my officials to investigate this as a matter of urgency,” he said.
Undercover reporters from the Telegraph accompanied pregnant women to nine clinics in different parts of the country and in three cases doctors were recorded offering to arrange terminations after being told the women did not want to continue with the pregnancy because of the gender of the unborn child.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (Spuc) communications manager Anthony Ozimic said: “Sex-selective abortion is an inevitable consequence of easy access to abortion, a situation to which the pro-abortion lobby has no convincing answer.”
Dr Gillian Lockwood, the medical director of the Midland Fertility Clinic and a former vice-chairwoman of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology’s Ethics Committee, said the reports were disturbing.
“A foetus being the wrong gender according to the prospective parents is not grounds for termination of pregnancy under any circumstances,” she added.
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