Birth control

The decision of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) not to prosecute two doctors allegedly caught offering gender-specific terminations in a sting operation caused great disquiet.

Yet, my medic brothers tell me they have never had a woman specifically request an abortion because of the baby’s sex – except for sex-linked genetic conditions.

They point out that women do not have to be specific about their reasons and most just say they “could not cope”, which falls within the loose wording of the 1967 Abortion Act.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

The doctors involved did not seek specific reasons, but simply established whether the woman really wanted termination and if continuing might put her mental health at risk.

A long police investigation was halted when the CPS advised that sex-selective abortions are not banned under the Abortion Act and statute law is entirely silent on the subject.

In fact, though sex-selective abortion may reinforce misogynistic attitudes, the same can surely be said of prohibition, which is denying women control over their own bodies.

(Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews