The killing of unborn babies simply because they are female is common in Asian countries particularly India and it has been estimated that there are around 300,000000 (three hundred million) missing girls as a result there.
It is only in recent times however that this practice has been investigated in Western countries where abortion is available virtually on demand irrespective of what national laws say.
The Daily Telegraph recounts, in two reports, how by use of sting operations in the UK, it established that female feticide is also practiced in UK abortion clinics.
In the first of these articles carried out in Manchester the Telegraph reports as follows
In the undercover filming Miss Prabha Sivaraman, a consultant who works for both private clinics and NHS hospitals in Manchester, told a pregnant woman who said she wanted to abort a female foetus, "I don''t ask questions. If you want a termination, you want a termination".
She later telephoned a colleague to book the procedure, explaining that it was for “social reasons” and the woman “doesn’t want questions asked”.
She said to her colleague: “This [the termination] will be under private, she doesn’t want to go through NHS. Okay, so - that’s right, because you’re part of our team and she doesn’t want questions asked”.
Miss Sivaraman, who works for the Pall Mall Medical Centre in Manchester and also as a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at North Manchester General Hospital, said that the cost of the termination would be £200 or £300, on top of the £500 already paid to the clinic for the consultation with her.
After taking the woman’s contact details, Dr Sivaraman asked her if she had considered her options. “Oh, absolutely… I can’t have it, this baby, because of the gender, so that’s just how it is…” replied the woman.
The second report refers to a Birmingham abortion clinic and is reported as follows
Abortion investigation: Doctor admits procedure tantamount to 'female infanticide'
One of Britain’s oldest abortion clinics is facing a police investigation after staff were caught falsifying paperwork and a doctor admitted that an abortion he was offering was tantamount to “female infanticide”.
The Calthorpe Clinic has been exposed for illicitly completing abortion forms amid concerns that doctors are not properly consulting patients before agreeing to terminations. A doctor at the clinic in Edgbaston, Birmingham, was also secretly filmed offering to arrange an abortion for a woman who said she wanted to terminate her pregnancy because the baby was a girl.
“It’s like female infanticide isn’t it?” said Dr Raj Mohan before agreeing to conduct the procedure. So-called “sex-selection” terminations are illegal.
When the pregnant woman asked if he could put down a different reason for the termination, the doctor said: “That’s right, yeah, because it’s not a good reason anytime … I’ll put too young for pregnancy, yeah?”
The patient agreed, at which point Dr Mohan again said: “It’s common in the Third World to have a female infanticide.”
He then moved on to discuss the abortion process before asking the pregnant patient to book an appointment for the termination the following Monday or Tuesday.
A nurse at the same clinic was also made aware that the reason for the abortion was because the patient “did not want a girl” but did not object to the procedure taking place.
The patient was not offered any counselling and there was no discussion of the wisdom of her requesting the sex-selection abortion.
The disclosures are likely to lead to growing pressure for pregnant women considering an abortion to be offered independent counselling.
Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, passed a dossier of alleged malpractice at the clinic to detectives. He also referred concerns over “criminal” practices at two other abortion clinics to the police and General Medical Council.
It is understood that the NHS watchdog that monitors the clinics, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), had already alerted the Health Secretary to concerns over the documentation being used by the Calthorpe Clinic.
The head of CQC, which also oversees care homes and hospitals, resigned following a Department of Health report that criticised the quango.
The Telegraph carried out an investigation into sex-selection abortions after specific concerns were raised that the procedures were becoming increasingly common for cultural and social reasons.