A discussion of the politics of sex-based abortions in New Scientist, with discussion of proposed legal changes in the UK.
WOULD it champion gender equality, or undermine a woman’s right to choose? A ban on abortions based on the sex of the fetus will be considered by the UK parliament this week.
Supporters of a ban say that women from some ethnic minorities occasionally abort female fetuses and try instead for a son. Yet others say any such ban cannot be enforced and could damage hard-won abortion rights enshrined in UK law since 1967. “Gender selection is a horrible concept and it’s easy to have a knee-jerk reaction,” says Tracey Masters of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. “But this [ban] would interfere with clinical care.”