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UK Votes Against Amendment Banning Sex-Selective Abortions; Pro-Life Group Says Parliament Has Failed to Protect Unborn Girls

UK Votes Against Amendment Banning Sex-Selective Abortions; Pro-Life Group Says Parliament Has Failed to Protect Unborn Girls

A pro-life campaigner holds up a model of a 12-week-old embryo during a protest outside the Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast October 18, 2012. | (Photo: Reuters/Cathal McNaughto)

The British Parliament has voted 292 to 201 against an amendment that would have explicitly banned abortions based on the gender of the unborn child. U.K. pro-life group LIFE has said that it's "dismayed" at the results, and argued that the Parliament has failed to protect unborn girls, who are most often the victims of gender-selective abortions.

When asked by The Christian Post for comment on Tuesday, LIFE shared the following statement by spokeswoman Michaela Aston:

"Parliament yesterday failed in its duty to ensure women are not discriminated against at all stages of their lives. Instead, it caved in to the intense lobbying efforts of the abortion industry and its advocates, against the outlawing of sex selection abortion."

The statement continued: "The abortion of girls because of their sex has no place in modern societies which embrace equality and non-discrimination against women."

The vote in question concerned an amendment to the Serious Crime Bill, which would have made clear that gender-selection abortions are not allowed under the Abortion Act.

AFP noted that politicians against the amendment, such as Health Minister Jane Ellison, have argued that the existing law already states that aborting an unborn child based on its gender is illegal.

Prime Minister David Cameron also opposed the proposed change, warning that it could stop women being able to "avoid the certainty of genetic disease."

Others members of Parliament, such as lawmaker Fiona Bruce, disagreed and said that the amendment was needed to strengthen and clarify the law.

"It is necessary because there is no explicit statement about gender selective abortion in U.K. law," Bruce said.

"The law is being interpreted in different ways because when the 1967 Abortion Act was passed, scans to determine the sex of the fetus were not available."

Although the amendment to the Serious Crime Bill was voted down, politicians approved an alternative amendment that will facilitate a review of how common place gender-selective abortions are in Wales, England and Northern Ireland.

According to statistics released by the Department of Health in June 2014, there were 185,331 abortions in England and Wales in 2013, which was 0.1 percent higher than the 2012 total.

An investigation by The Independent in 2014 separately noted that the practice of sex-selective abortion, commonplace within some immigrant groups, has reduced the female population of England and Wales by somewhere between 1,500 and 4,700.

LIFE spokeswoman Aston added that Britain's abortion industry desires to "operate as a law unto itself. For decades it has stretched or ignored the Abortion Act with seeming impunity. We have seen the Crown Prosecution Service refusing to prosecute abortion doctors offering to do abortions because of sex."

She added: "It was therefore high time for Parliament to send a clear and unambiguous message to this out of control industry, which likes to say it has the interest of women at heart, that they will not be allowed to terminate unborn girls because of their sex. It failed to do this yesterday."

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