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UK: Crown Court Fails to Prosecute Gender Abortionists

UK: Crown Court Fails to Prosecute Gender Abortionists

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Carly Andrews - published on 09/16/13

Leading British pro-life organisation SPUC, speaks to Aleteia about the shocking decision and its consequences.

Last year The Telegraph went undercover and exposed two doctors offering to perform gender abortions, a wholly unlawful practice in the United Kingdom. After a 19 month enquiry, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has decided not to prosecute the pair in any way.

Despite admitting that they have “sufficient evidence” to “warrant a prosecution with a realistic prospect of conviction,” the CPS stated to police that a “public interest test had not been met.”

Caught on camera

The whole morbid affair came about after a government analysis indicated that the unlawful practice was occurring due to a highly disproportionate number of male and female birth records in certain communities around the UK.

The Telegraph subsequently carried out an undercover investigation whereby reporters accompanied pregnant women to nine different clinics around the country. They caught two doctors on film, offering the expecting mothers to abort their babies despite the mother having made the request on gender grounds. In one of the cases, the mother-to-be even likened it to “female infanticide.” This did not prevent the doctor from offering the abortion.

There has been some concern raised in parliament about the CPS’ decision not to prosecute.

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries, in addressing David Cameron, said: "do you agree with me, prime minister, that this is very uncomfortable, the fact the 57 Act is now almost obsolete and puts our abortion policy on a par with India and China and a female foetus in the womb today is more vulnerable than she was last week?"

To which he replied: "In our country we do have independent prosecuting authorities. It’s very important that they look at the evidence and they make a decision on the basis of likelihood in getting a conviction and the public interest in making a case and taking it to court. That’s how things have to work in our country, but I share your concern about what we’ve read and what has happened.”

On Saturday 50 MPs made an alliance against the CPS, accusing them of “an unconstitutional encroachment on the role of Parliament by refusing to bring charges against doctors linked to illegal abortions.”

Leading British pro-life organisation SPUC (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) has also been busy on the front lines. Their General Secretary Paul Tully speaks to Aleteia about the shocking decision made by the CPS and its consequences.

Very much in the public interest

What was particularly disturbing to Tully and the SPUC team was the fact that the CPS said “it wasn’t a public interest to bring a prosecution.”

“That is something that is very strange” he asserts. “If offering to kill a child, for payment, for such a callous reason as that she is the ‘wrong sex,’ is not against the public interest, then it is hard to think anything could be.”

He explains that “when the CPS says it is not in the public interest, they’re actually applying some fairly specific rules about what is termed a public interest test, set out in the code of practice for Crown prosecutors. This requires them to look at issues like how responsible the suspect who may have broken the law is; how serious the crime that they are suspected of having committed is. It is not merely a case of public interest in the sense of: ‘is this something that is going to morally outrage people?’ It is a very specific test.”

Nevertheless Tully explains how paradoxical the CPS’ decision was, based upon its own criteria. “If it is an illegal abortion that has happened, been proposed or attempted” he says, “then that carries up to a life imprisonment sentence; it is one of the most serious crimes on the statute book.” So, he concludes, “it is very difficult to see how the CPS can come to the conclusion, applying their own rules…that this is not actually in the public interest.” 

However, he adds that “it is entirely disregarded because of our Abortion Act, which allows abortions to take place practically on demand.”

“When we look at the british abortion figures" continues Tully, "98% of abortions are performed in this country on a legal ruling which allows abortion to be done if the continuation of the pregnancy involves a greater risk to the woman’s mental health than if she has an abortion. This has become a highly controversial area, particularly with the increasing evidence of the damage to a woman’s mental health that abortion does.

“A study was commissioned high out of the Department of Health, conducted by a very prestigious body, the academy of Medical Royal Colleges in the UK, and they came to the conclusion – only by discounting a lot of evidence that abortion causes harm – that abortion makes no difference either way to a woman’s mental health."

Despite this inadequate conclusion “on that very basis, the abortion law is clearly being widely flouted, since in 98% of cases, abortions are being authorised on the basis that the continuation of pregnancy would make the woman’s mental health worse.”

He continues: “We feel of course that abortion is wrong in all cases. But even on the basis of the pro-abortionists own rules, what they are doing is unlawful and should be stopped.”

“Last year the government’s Chief Medical Officer wrote to all abortion clinics and NHS abortion hospitals spelling out the limited grounds for abortion in law. This appears to have made no difference at all to the widespread illicit practice of abortion on demand.”

“MPs like Anna Soubry, the health minister, and Department of Health officials continue to prompt doctors to offer abortion on demand.  Those responsible for the appalling tide of abortions in Britain have entirely ignored the Chief Medical Officer’s letter and continue to follow official guidance requiring doctors to provide abortion virtually on demand.”

Dire consequences

The consequences of this latest decision by CPS, Tully foresees, will be grave. “It will send out in the first place the wrong signals to those communities who are inclined, for health, historical or economical reasons, to practice gender selection abortions; It will send out entirely the wrong message to the medical profession about abortion in general.”

Finally, he says that  “it will send out the message that there is no interest in upholding the rule of law on the part of the government.”

He explains that while the CPS does not technically come under the jurisdiction of the government, “the Department of Health which is a government department, is intimately involved with the whole provision and practice of abortion in Britain, and it is the department of health which in broader terms is the body which has sickeningly failed to ensure that the rules within our abortion law are observed, and instead of abortions restrictive on medical grounds, we now have abortion being offered on astronomical demand.”

Dead Letter

The effects of this, states Tully, will mean leaving “those who want to seek abortions based on the baby’s gender, to think that they can continue doing so. It will also send out the message that the Abortion Act really doesn’t matter.”

He continues: “the rules of the Abortion Act will become regarded as dead letter and it will be seen that the law does not need to be upheld in this area, which is damaging to the whole notion of a society which is organised in government on the democratic basis with the law being upheld to protect the weak and the innocent.”

SPUC’s vision

SPUC has been working to end the violation of abortion law Britain. Their main concern is not so much with the individual doctors who have broken the law here, but for “the protection of unborn children.”

Tully explains that the next vital step is “stopping the organisations that countenance this kind of practice, such as the abortion clinics and the Department of Health’s Sexual Health Team. These are the bodies that Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, should seek to clamp down upon.”

“The Abortion Act is morally wrong and medically ill-founded – and it demonstrates how legalising abortion for ‘hard cases’ is so easily abused. Sex-discrimination abortion is just one example. Since being appointed as health secretary, Jeremy Hunt has done nothing to enforce any of the grounds for abortion required in the law.”

Consequently Mr Tully and the rest of the SPUC team have been campaigning hard for the government to take responsibility in ensuring that abortion law is no longer violated.

“With only 18 months to go to a general election here in the UK" says Tully, "gender selection abortion is one of the issues that we are raising strongly now with MPs both through a parliament context and through our supporters in constituencies around the country."

They are asking members of parliament to challenge the secretary of state for health "to ensure that the abortion law both in the area of gender selection and in wider terms, is not abused as it is widely done so.”

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