North Antrim DUP MP Ian Paisley has welcomed the fact that a review in to sex-selective abortion will now be undertaken following a debate in parliament this week as part of the Serious Crime Bill in Westminster. The British Pregnancy Advice Service has described the law as “silent” on the issue and the former Director of Public Prosecutions Kier Starmer has also pointed out that it is not expressly prohibited. The comments were made in relation to UK doctors who were secretly filmed agreeing to carry out such sex-selective abortions but were not prosecuted.
Mr Paisley said, ‘I welcomed this amendment when it was tabled as I am of the belief that we do not have the right to choose whether or not a child is born based on their gender. I am encouraged that a review into the issue will now be undertaken and more clarity will hopefully be achieved as a result.”
The vote that took place this week won’t directly affect Northern Ireland given the differences in current abortion laws.
The MP concluded “With over 200 MPs supporting the amendment it is only right that this further action is conducted, given that almost a third of the House voted in its favour. Another issue that the Serious Crime Bill addresses which disproportionately affects girls is Female Genital Mutilation, I believe it is right that a specific prohibition on sex-selective abortion be included also.”