BIRMINGHAM, England — The chief executive of Britain’s largest abortion organisation is asserting that women in the country are legally free to abort a baby based on gender.
Anne Furedi, head of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), states that women the law allows women to terminate their pregnancies if they are unhappy with the baby’s sex, and that the parliament does not need to create any clarifications on the matter.
The chief executive of BPAS made her views known in an article for the online magazine Spiked where she compared gender selective abortion to abortion after rape.
“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 contended.
“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,” Furedi continued. “The law is silent on the matter of gender selection, just as it is silent on rape.”
Furedi’s comments come weeks after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not to prosecute two doctors in England who arranged abortions for mothers who sought to terminate their pregnancies because they were carrying a girl. CPS ruled that it would not pursue the case against the doctors because it was not in the “public interest” to do so.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is seeking an explanation from the attorney general about the case, and why prosecution believes the case is not in the public interest.
“Gender selection abortion is against the law and completely unacceptable,” he said in a statement.
Dr. Peter Saunders, chief executive of the Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF), likewise expressed dismay and disapproval.
“We are very concerned at the fact that the CPS hasn’t thought to bring a prosecution in this case when in a letter we have had from the Metropolitan police, they have said that they did consider there was sufficient evidence for a realistic prosecution,” he stated in a BBC Radio 5 Live interview.
Andrea Williams, head of Christian Concern for Our Nation (CCFON), a Christian think tank in Britain, agreed. She said during an LBC radio interview that “[i]t is not the job of the Crown Prosecution Service to decide not to apply the law.”
Furedi, whose organization performs a quarter of the abortions in England and Wales–over 55,000 a year–making it Britain’s biggest single abortion provider, has made other controversial statements in the past. In 2011, during a debate with William Saletan, a writer for Slate, she described the notion of late term abortion as “arbitrary and subjective.”
“There is no evidence to suggest that we need to restrict later abortions in any way by enforcing legal limit,” Furedi declared. “There isn’t any profound point at which you can say there is a difference between one kind of foetus and another.”
Abortion has been legal in the UK (with the exception of Northern Ireland) since 1967. Under current legislation, two doctors must agree that an abortion would cause less damage to a woman’s physical or mental health than continuing with the pregnancy.
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