Health written question – answered at on 25 November 2013.

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Photo of Julian Sturdy Julian Sturdy Conservative, York Outer

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government has taken to tackle the problem of selective sex abortions in the UK.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Chief Medical Officer wrote to all medical practitioners, and others involved in abortion care on 22 November 2013, reminding them of their duties under the Abortion Act. On gender selection abortion the letter highlights that termination of pregnancy on the grounds of gender alone is illegal. The recent decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) not to prosecute doctors investigated for certifying gender selection abortions does not alter this. A copy of the letter has been placed in the Library.

Further, more detailed guidance will now be developed by the Department in partnership with the General Medical Council, the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the CPS.

All allegations of abortions failing to comply with the Act are taken very seriously. Any allegation of an illegal abortion should be reported to the police, who will, if appropriate, conduct a criminal investigation.

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