Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Selective abortion based on gender: illegal in Britain but not in the U.S.

Two stories, the first from the Telegraph and the second from the Washington Post, reveal the different legal status of abortions for the purpose of choosing the gender of a child in Britain and the U.S.

Abortion investigation: doctors filmed agreeing illegal abortions 'no questions asked'. Women are being granted illegal abortions by doctors based on the sex of their unborn baby, an undercover investigation by The Daily Telegraph reveals.

"Doctors at British clinics have been secretly filmed agreeing to terminate foetuses purely because they are either male or female. Clinicians admitted they were prepared to falsify paperwork to arrange the abortions even though it is illegal to conduct such “sex-selection” procedures."

Bill banning ‘sex-selective abortions’ fails in the House

"A measure to ban abortions based on the sex of a child failed Thursday to earn enough support in the House, and abortion opponents said they plan to use the vote to paint Democrats as disingenuously supporting women’s rights because they voted against a bill protecting unborn baby girls.
Lawmakers voted 246 to 168 on the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), which would punish doctors with up to five years in prison for performing abortions because the parents are seeking a child of the other sex. But the bill failed to pass as House Republicans brought it up under a suspension of normal rules that required it to earn a two-thirds majority vote. Twenty Democratic lawmakers voted for the bill; seven Republicans voted against it.
"Several nations, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and France, ban sex-selective abortions. The United States has no such law, even though the State Department has published reports critical of other countries, including China, for widely accepting the procedure.
Sex-selective abortions are so common in some Asian and Eastern European countries, including China, India, Armenia and Serbia, that the number of boys being born is much greater than the number of girls,according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights research center. In the U.S., 105 boys are born for every 100 girls, a ratio that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention considers stable. But limited studies have found that the practice is common among Asian American communities, where women cite family pressure to have male children.
Efforts to combat sex-selective abortions are more active at the state level. Eight states have introduced measures this year to ban the procedure, and three states — Arizona, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma — ban sex-selective abortions. A similar law in Illinois was scrapped by state courts.

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