UK bans sex based abortions as Ethnic minority prefer male over female fetuses…

A fresh guideline has been issued by the UK Government, to close the loophole that allowed sex based abortions. Ethnic communities, especially, British Asians have a cultural preference to a male child. This report comes amid reports that several Asian girl babies went “missing”.

The Department of Health guidance issued a warning to the doctors that carrying out abortions based on the sex of the unborn baby and pre-sign abortion forms are considered as breaking the law.

Abortion clinics in Britain will also be required to explicitly recognise that gender-based abortions are illegal as part of their licence conditions.

The move follows reports earlier this year that anywhere between 1,500 and 4,700 infant girls were “missing” in certain ethnic communities in the UK, largely British Asian, who have a cultural preference to a male child.

Ethnic minorities and others in the United Kingdom have reportedly performed thousands of illegal abortions on female fetuses after learning their babies’ gender through ultrasound. For hundreds of thousands of married couples in Britain whose families hail from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and elsewhere, infant sons are prized, while baby girls are often viewed as a curse and a financial burden.

A child birth data analysis in Britain by the ‘Independent’ newspaper in January had revealed that mothers born in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan were most likely to opt for gender-based abortions, while those born in India and Nepal were also singled out as a category likely to opt for such abortions.

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Such practices are widespread in India, where sex ratios have become greatly skewed in favour of males. Now, it appears this gender-control policy may have been imported to Britain. Abortion based on “sex selection is against the law and completely unacceptable,” said a spokesman for the Health Department. Abortion has been legal in England and Wales since 1967.

An investigation into the work of abortion clinics found 14 were pre-signing certificates.

The law in Britain states that two doctors must certify an abortion under the terms of the 1967 Abortion Act

There are many reasons why some South Asian families prefer infant sons – as a way to guarantee the continuation of lineage and name, the generally higher incomes that men earn in society, the often expensive dowry payments required to give away a daughter in marriage, among others..

Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service which is a major provider of abortions for the NHS, said it abided by the guidance.

But she added: “There is no clinical need for two doctors to certify a woman’s reasons for abortion, in addition to obtaining her consent – it simply causes delays.”

Sharanya Bharathwaj

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