Women’s rights campaigners are calling on MPs to vote against criminalising abortion on grounds of a child’s gender because it could drive the problem underground.
The Iranian & Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation yesterday said an amendment to the Serious Crime Bill to outlaw abortion on the basis of gender would put women forced by male relatives to terminate a pregnancy at even greater risk. It said it opposed “all forms of gendercide” and was trying to change the mind-set of those “who value females less than males”.
It added: “We are concerned that, if enacted, the proposed changes could deter women ... from approaching legal, regulated abortion clinics or GPs” and so deny them the “crucial safe-guarding and support measures”.
MPs are due to vote on Monday on the amendment championed by Conservative MP Fiona Bruce, who says the new law would “oblige the Government to think of ways to support these women.
An investigation by The Independent has revealed that gender-selective abortion had affected the balance of girls and boys in some communities.