British doctors found to be doing illegal sex-selection abortions will not face criminal charges and that is not going over well with pro-life groups in the United Kingdom.
In February 2012, two abortion practitioners in England were suspended for their roles in facilitating illegal sex-selection abortions as exposed by an undercover investigation the London Telegraph newspaper led. But they won’t face any charges.
Paul Tully of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children is not happy about the decision and sent the following comments to LifeNews:
The announcement by the Crown Prosecution Service that it is not going to charge doctors for offering ‘sex-selection’ abortion smacks of a politically influenced decision.
The CPS’ decision that it is not ‘in the public interest’ to bring charges is clearly wrong by at least six of the seven points in its code of practice, The Code for Crown Prosecutors, CPS, Jan 2013. This spells out (section 4.12) seven questions to help determine whether a prosecution is in the public interest. How do they apply in this case?
Here are the questions, with my comments:
“a) How serious is the offence committed?”
These doctors planned to kill children. Whether charged under the law on abortion or the law on child destruction, the crime carries a life sentence. It is among the most serious crimes on the statute book.
“b) What is the level of culpability of the suspect?”
The suspects (the doctors) in these cases were professionally trained, and were evidently prepared to falsify statutory declarations (abortion registration forms) to achieve their purpose. It is hard to think of any situation where a higher degree of culpability could be shown.
“c) What are the circumstances of and the harm caused to the victim?”
The intended victims would technically have been ‘under the care’ of the doctors aborting them; and the harm intended was to kill them.
“d) Was the suspect under 18?”
“e) What is the impact on the community?”
A lack of prosecution may suggest to the communities that seek sex-selection abortions that they can continue breaking the law with impunity.
“f) Is prosecution a proportionate response?”
The Code for Crown Prosecutors makes clear in its explanatory notes that the concern here is that some prosecutions are very expensive to mount, involve complex crimes like fraud, and take months and months in court. None of that seems likely to apply here.
“g) Do the sources of information require protecting?”
The sources of key information are named journalists who published the story in the national press – of course they don’t need protecting. While clearly wrong, the decision is less hypocritical than the faux prosecution of Dr Anthony Hamilton in 1980, who was charged with attempted murder (but not abortion or child destruction) after aborting a disabled baby well over the legal time limit which then prevailed. The prosecution failed, predictably, for lack of evidence of intent to commit murder.
In the more detailed notes, under question (c) the Code says:
Prosecutors must also have regard to whether the offence was motivated by any form of discrimination against the victim’s ethnic or national origin, gender, disability, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation or gender identity; or the suspect demonstrated hostility towards the victim based on any of those characteristics. The presence of any such motivation or hostility will mean that it is more likely that prosecution is required.
Does hostility toward a baby girl, motivated explicitly by her gender, and perhaps also by her age, not merit prosecution in this situation?
The fact that the child is in her mother’s womb makes a difference in the eyes of the law, but not for the doctor who must kill her either surgically (by means such as dismemberment), or more commonly now, by use of chemical agents.
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The National Pro-life Charity LIFE is shocked by the news that the Crown Prosecution Service will not take action against two doctors accused of arranging gender selection abortions.
LIFE Spokesperson Anne Scanlan said “The decision by the CPS not to prosecute these doctors despite the evidence against them partly because the case is already being dealt with by the General Medical Council is unusual and nonsensical. It is very odd to say that professionals will not be prosecuted for breaking or attempting to break the law because their professional body is running an investigation.
These two cases only came to light because of a newspaper undercover investigation. One wonders how many cases there are which flagrantly violate the laws of this country which go undetected and unreported. There is an absolute public interest in the prosecution of doctors who break the already-abused abortion laws. A clear and unambiguous message must be sent to anyone who breaks or attempts to break these laws that it will not be condoned.
British society embraces equality between genders and the termination of anyone simply because they are of a particular gender has no place in this country. To this end we welcome the intervention of the Health Secretary seeking clarification of this strange decision by the CPS. We await the outcome”.