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Prosecutors defend decision not pursue doctors over sex selection abortions

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5465 (Published 06 September 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5465
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

England’s health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has asked the attorney general for “urgent clarification” of a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) not to prosecute two doctors for agreeing to perform abortions on the grounds that the unborn child was the “wrong” sex.

The CPS said that, although there was sufficient evidence to prosecute for an attempt to commit an offence under the Abortion Act 1967, prosecutors had decided that it would not be in the public interest to go ahead with a prosecution.

Jenny Hopkins, deputy chief prosecutor for CPS London, said in a statement that “one highly relevant factor” was that the General Medical Council was already involved in the case and had the power to remove doctors from the medical register.

She added, “Taking into account the need for professional judgment …

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