Outcry after gender abortion doctors avoid prosecution
CPS accused of putting doctors 'above the law' when it comes to sex-selection abortions
THE Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has been accused of failing to uphold the law after two doctors who agreed to arrange illegal abortions based on the sex of an unborn baby escaped criminal charges.
The two doctors, Dr Raj Mohan and Dr Prabha Sivaraman, were filmed by the Daily Telegraph agreeing to arrange terminations for women on the basis that they did not want a baby girl.
Mohan, who worked at a clinic in Birmingham, agreed to the abortion despite likening it to "female infanticide", while Sivaraman, who worked for both private clinics and NHS hospitals in Manchester, was recorded telling a woman: "I don't ask questions."
But after a 19-month inquiry, the CPS has said they will not face criminal charges because it was "not in the public interest".
Prosecutors acknowledged that there was enough evidence to warrant a prosecution with a "realistic prospect of conviction" of attempting to breach the Abortion Act. However, it said the cases would be better dealt with by the General Medical Council, which oversees the conduct of doctors.
In coming to its conclusion, the CPS also took into account that no abortion took place or "would have taken place" in these cases.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said it was a "concerning development" and has asked the Attorney General for "urgent clarification" about the decision. "We are clear that gender selection abortion is against the law and completely unacceptable," he said.
Campaign groups are looking into whether they can challenge the decision.
David Burrowes, a Tory MP on the all-party parliamentary pro-life group, said he would be "extremely disappointed" if the CPS were seeking to "put themselves in the position of politicians and Parliament by trying to suggest that this is not an offence that should be prosecuted".
Dr Peter Saunders, chief executive of the Christian Medical Fellowship, said it seemed as if the CPS had "put doctors above the law" and described the decision as "quite extraordinary".
Members of the public took to Twitter to express their concern this morning. "Message from the authorities: 'gender selective abortion is ok'" wrote one tweeter, while another said: "Hunt concerned by lack of prosecutions... So he should be, as all of us should be!" ·