Statement on sex-selective abortion
Abortion Rights believes that all women have the right to make their own reproductive choices. Prochoice means women are best placed to make their own pregnancy choices, for only they know their personal situation. Prochoice also means recognising that women’s rights takes primacy in matter of her reproduction; according foetuses rights inherently means removing rights from pregnant women.
We note that Abortion Rights’ position is in line with current law as stipulated in the Abortion Act 1967. The Act states that two doctors must approve, ‘in good faith’, that continuing a pregnancy would pose a threat to the pregnant woman’s health. At no point does the Act refer specifically to sex-selection in capacity.
We believe that a woman feeling pressure to bear a child of a particular sex is aterrible position for her to be in. Similarly, gender inequality that largely disadvantages girls is abhorrent. However, criminalising “types” of abortion is not the answer – this is punishing women for gender inequality in society. Instead, efforts should be directed towards gender equality education so that societies do not pressure women to bear a foetus of a given sex.
The push to criminalise sex-selective abortions is not feminist or pro-woman, as some advocates have claimed, but a tactic by the anti-choice movement to allocate rights to foetuses at the expense of women. It is also adding pressure to those doctors and clinicians delivering the services. The solution to societal gender inequality is not further removing women’s rights. There is nothing pro-woman about undermining women’s right to abortion.
We resolve to campaign to defend and extend real choice for women and to argue publically in favour of abortion on demand, and for the individual to make her own choice based on her own circumstances.