SPUC condemns prosecutor's failure to act in sex-selective abortion case
15 November 2016
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has written to the attorney general, urging him to ensure that the Crown Prosecution Service fulfils its obligations to uphold the law which forbids sex-selection abortion and coerced abortions.
The letter follows a report in the Daily Telegraph yesterday that the Crown Prosecution Service has refused to prosecute a case in which a woman claims that she was compelled against her will to undergo an abortion. The grounds for the abortion were allegedly that the unborn child was female.
In the letter, Paul Tully, SPUC's general secretary, points out the ways in which this case amounts to a gross neglect of the rule of law and of human rights, and says that it is "deplorable" that the CPS failed to intervene.
The full text of the letter is below.
Notes to editors
- Daily Telegraph Report
- Aisha Chithira case
For further comments, please contact Paul Tully on:
Letter to the Attorney General
Dear Attorney General,
It was reported in the Daily Telegraph yesterday that the Crown Prosecution Service has refused to prosecute a case in which a woman claims that she was compelled against her will to undergo an abortion. The grounds for the abortion were allegedly that the unborn child was female.
This Society has no knowledge of the case beyond the press report, but on the face of the report this amounts to a gross neglect of the rule of law and of human rights on several levels:
- The life of an unborn baby girl has been unjustly and illegally destroyed.
- The fact that the unborn victim was immature and vulnerable does not lessen the seriousness of the crime but only makes the crime all the more heinous.
A woman has been subjected to a medical or surgical intervention against her will, a gross abuse of the law and of her human rights.
- If the press report is correct, this abortion was illegal - the Abortion Act 1967 contains no ground permitting such an abortion.Several doctors and other staff have either conspired in an illegal abortion, possibly acting in bad faith, or they have been duped into performing an abortion on false grounds.
It is equally important to investigate those who pressurised the woman to undergo the abortion. In our experience, and the experience of other pro-life organisations that specialise in counselling women, it is not uncommon for women to be pressurised to undergo abortions, but it is rare that there is evidence on which the police or CPS could act. This means there is a very strong public-interest case for pursuing any case where such evidence is available. If the press report is correct and taking into account your own reported statement that you take such matters "very seriously", it is deplorable that the CPS should fail in its duty to act in such a case.
There have been several cases recently in which the Crown Prosecution Service appears to have behaved with contempt for the law in abortion cases. Most notable is the case of the death of Aisha Chithira following upon an abortion operation. The prosecution of those responsible for Ms Chithira's death collapsed because of the CPS's handling of the case, which was roundly condemned by the judge.
I urge you to ensure that the CPS fulfils its obligations to uphold the law as far as it protects women and unborn children from abortion. In particular, please ask the CPS to reconsider its decision not to prosecute in this case.