Should gender-selective abortion be a criminal offence for women?
It’s a controversial subject that has sparked heated debate over recent weeks: sex-selective abortion. Last night politicians gathered at Westminster to finally vote on whether the UK abortion law needs amending to take into stricter consideration any rise in gender-based terminations.
The proposal was firmly rejected with 291 to 201 voting against a proposal to clarify in law that abortions decided on the grounds of gender is illegal. It’s a decision that will be met with a huge sigh of relief from women’s rights groups who had already warned MPs on the dangers of criminalising vulnerable women and doctors.
In a vote that united high-profile Conservative and Labour politicians, both David Cameron and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper blocked the ban with Cameron arguing it could prevent certain women from avoiding ‘the certainty of genetic disease.’ Health Minister Jane Ellison added that the practice of gender-selection is already illegal in the UK.
It’s a debate that is likely to continue despite last night’s decision, however, with supporters of the ban insisting that the law is still confused and that abortions based on the sex of the foetus are occurring within some communities without explicit regulation.
So, where do you stand on the sex-selective abortion debate? Did Parliament make the right decision to reject any further abortion-law amendments? Or do you think gender-selection is an issue that needs to be tackled in UK law and made a criminal offence?
Tell us your thoughts and we’ll share them here.