The government is investigating claims by a national newspaper that doctors have agreed to abortions when women didn’t want their baby because of its gender.
The Daily Telegraph secretly filmed doctors at British clinics agreeing to terminate foetuses purely because they’re either male or female, even though sex-selection is illegal.
Undercover reporters accompanied pregnant women to nine clinics. In three cases, doctors were recorded offering to arrange abortions when the women said they didn’t want their baby because of its gender.
In a statement, the Department of Health said, “Following this morning’s reports in the Telegraph, we will be speaking to the police. Criminal offences may have been committed and we will take urgent action.”
Dr Gillian Lockwood, former vice chair of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists ethics committee, said the reports were “disturbing”.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Dr Lockwood said new blood tests that can tell a baby’s sex from a much earlier stage “may fuel the desire for designer babies”.
The Daily Telegraph said it intends to publish more disclosures from the investigation tomorrow.