British MPs have widely voted in favour of banning gender selective abortions (Cf. Synthèse Gènéthique du 4 novrembre 2014). This motion was carried in order to bring “urgent clarification” to the Abortion Act, which does not explicitly state that gender is not a reason to abort. Clarification was deemed essential after the British Medical Association justified such abortions in certain circumstances.
The draft law has been proposed by Fiona Bruce and 10 other female MPs from Great Britain’s three major political parties. The bill was presented yesterday in Parliament under the “ten minute rule” . This procedure seldom leads to a law but the vote was virtually unanimous: 181 votes in favour and 1 vote against the proposal to ban gender selective abortions.
This bill will therefore be given a second reading in the House of Commons on 23 January 2015. Since the General Elections are scheduled for May 2015, it is unlikely that the next parliamentary session will allocate any time to debate this proposal. Nevertheless, for Stop Gendercide campaigners, this vote sends a clear message to the Government, namely to improve the situation for pregnant women who are often victims of social pressure.
The 10 minute rule is a legislative initiative which gives interested parties 10 minutes to verbally present their draft bill. The opposition has the same amount of time to oppose it.