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The Lost Girls
In January the Independent published a series of articles following “rigorous analysis” of the 2011 census results for the UK. The articles claimed that the census reveals that there are “thousands of ‘missing’ girls” in the UK due to sex-
Steve Connor, writing for the Independent, says that, worldwide, gender selection – including the abortion of female fetuses – may account for a shortfall of up to 200 million girls and that the UK is no longer immune.2
Earl Howe, the minister responsible for overseeing the health department's investigation, in answer to a Parliamentary question in June, said, "We do not believe that there is any evidence that this is happening in the UK." But the Independent asserts that the health department did not carry out a powerful enough statistical analysis. Specifically, the department's analytical team did not look at the birth ratios of second or third-
The practice of sex-
It was found that in two-
“The only readily available explanation that is consistent with a statistically significant gender shift of the sort observed in the census data is gender-
Those who advocate abortion on demand often proclaim themselves to be “pro-
“Rupi remembers her second pregnancy with tearful dread. Having given birth to a girl two years before, she had expected the further love and support of her husband and his family. Instead, she came under extraordinary pressure to have an abortion. The 29-
She told The Independent: "It was a completely traumatic time. I had this child growing inside, a beautiful thing. But my family weren't happy; they wanted me to have a son. My husband's family were not wealthy and a son is so cherished.
"I'll never forget. My mother-
Ann Furedi, CEO of BPAS, writes, “Take the hypothetical case of a woman who discloses that if her family discovers she is pregnant with another girl, they will disown her and she’ll lose her home, her husband whom she loves, and her existing children. She doesn’t want help to leave her family; she just wants to not be pregnant, now. When politicians like Sarah Wollaston, the Conservative MP, say that ‘selective abortion of baby girls harms women’, do they really intend that this woman should be sent back home to face the consequences? Should her abortion be refused, even though a doctor thinks it would be better for her wellbeing if he approved it?”6 It could be argued that this form of coercion is encouraged by the fact that abortion is so readily available.
“Woolly” grounds for abortion
While many NHS hospitals have a policy of refusing to divulge the gender of a foetus until after the 24-
Dr Sudhir Sethi, a NHS consultant paediatrician who specialises in child health in Leicester, said: "I am told that sometimes woolly reasons like detriment to the mother's mental and emotional health have been used to get rid of these unwanted female fetuses."
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: “Abortion on the grounds of sex selection is against the law and completely unacceptable.” However, although it is technically illegal under the 1967 Abortion Act, an abortion based on the sex of a fetus can still be carried out if two doctors agree that it is in the best interests of the woman's health. This is one reason why it has been so difficult to prosecute doctors offering terminations where gender has been an issue. The former director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer, articulated the difficulty last October explaining why he was not going to pursue the prosecution of two doctors allegedly caught offering sex-
Ann Furedi has pointed out that, “Today in Britain, it seems more acceptable to say you want an abortion because you don’t want to be pregnant than to say you want an abortion because you don’t want to be pregnant with a girl.” 8
The statement by Dr Sethi, “woolly reasons like detriment to the mother's mental and emotional health have been used to get rid of these unwanted female fetuses" should be equally shocking if the word “female” is left out. These “woolly reasons” are the ones that are given for 98% of the 200,000 abortions carried out annually in the UK.
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