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Court summons sought for Birmingham doctor in 'gender-abortion' case

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Issued on behalf of Christian Legal Centre

Press Release
For Immediate Release

26 January 2015


Court summons sought for Birmingham doctor in 'gender-abortion' case

A member of the public will today (26 JAN) seek to commence a rare private prosecution against a Birmingham doctor accused of offering illegal 'gender-abortion'.

Lawyers acting for 21-year-old Aisling Hubert will ask Birmingham Magistrates Court to issue a summons for prosecution against Dr Raj Mohan.

Dr Mohan was filmed offering abortion on the grounds of gender, during an undercover investigation conducted by the Daily Telegraph in 2012.

However, after a lengthy police investigation, the Crown Prosecution Service took the surprising decision not to proceed with the case - despite finding that there was sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.

The decision not to prosecute attracted widespread criticism from across the political spectrum.

But now, Aisling, who is supported by the Christian Legal Centre, hopes that Magistrates will issue a summons for an offence of ‘Conspiracy to procure poison to be used with intent to procure abortion, contrary to section 59 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861.’

Aisling's private prosecution of another doctor filmed by the Daily Telegraph is already underway. A preliminary hearing before the Crown Court in Manchester is due to take place on 6th February when it is hoped that Dr Prabha Sivaraman will enter a plea. 
 

'Turning a blind eye'

Miss Hubert welcomed the development saying "Gender-abortion is a horrible practice. I took this dramatic step because those who should have done so were effectively turning a blind eye."

"Again we have seen the establishment stand silent in the face of the abortion industry, hoping that the horrors will be swept under the carpet and the problems go away. But justice demands that something is done and that people are held to account for their actions. The law can only protect if it is enforced," she explained.

News of the summons comes as Fiona Bruce MP this week tabled an amendment to the Serious Crime Bill that would confirm that abortion on the grounds of gender is illegal. The amendment has so far been backed by at least 70 MPs.
 

'Overwhelming public support'

Last year, a ComRes poll commissioned by Christian Concern, found overwhelming public support for prosecution of doctors who approve 'gender-abortions'. According to the poll, 80% of British adults agree that "where it can be proved that an abortion was authorised on grounds of the baby's gender, the doctor authorising that abortion should be prosecuted."

Commenting on the poll, Aisling said: "I am reassured that the vast majority of the British public is behind me as I seek to secure justice for unborn baby girls."
 

'Too frightened to stand up'

Andrea Minichiello Williams, Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Centre which is supporting Aisling, said:

"There has been public outcry over revelations of gender-abortion in the UK but no official action has been taken against the doctors. We are proud to stand with this brave young woman as she battles for justice for unborn children and shames those who should have done so. The establishment has become complicit with the abortion industry because it is too frightened to stand up to it."
 

'Failure to prosecute'

The CPS announced its decision not to prosecute in 2013 saying that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute the doctors - but claiming that doing so would not be in the public interest.

The decision provoked cross-party concern. The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said: "This is a concerning development and I have written to the Attorney General to ask for urgent clarification on the grounds for this decision."

Labour's Shadow Attorney General, Emily Thornberry, wrote to the Director Public Prosecutions (DPP), saying: "As you will know, the GMC is a regulator and cannot bring criminal proceedings. The provisions of the Abortion Act 1967 are crystal clear. The conduct of abortions for reasons not stated in that Act is a criminal offence, not just a regulatory one. To decide not [to] prosecute because a regulator can hear the matter instead is to disapply the law and undermine the will of Parliament. "

Liberal Democrat Peer and former DPP, Lord Macdonald described the decision as "very dubious" and said that it risked "undermining the principle that everyone is equal under the law."
 

'Law disputed'

The Government has written to doctors stating that abortion solely on the grounds of gender is illegal (1). However, the UK's largest abortion provider, BPAS, disputes that, claiming that the law is 'silent on the matter' (2). The British Medical Association has suggested that abortion on the grounds of gender may be legal in some circumstances (3). 

 

ENDS.

 

Notes for editors:
The ComRes poll was commissioned by Christian Concern - www.christianconcern.com

More information about the private prosecution is available here:
www.christianconcern.com/our-concerns/abortion/private-prosecution-of-gender-selection-abortion-doctors

ComRes interviewed 2,004 GB adults online between 24th and 26th October 2014. Data were weighted to be representative of all GB adutls aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

Data tables available at: www.comres.co.uk
 

References: 
(1) Prime Minister, House of Commons, Official Record, 17 March 2014

(2) BPAS, Britain’s Abortion Law What it says and Why, 2012 (p8): "Is abortion for reasons of fetal sex illegal under the Abortion Act? No. The law is silent on the matter" - available here.

(3) British Medical Association, Press Release, 27 May 2014: ‘We recognise that in some cases doctors may come to the conclusion that the effects of having a child of a particular gender are so severe to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman as to provide legal and ethical justification for an abortion’ - available here.

For picture desks: 
A photo of Aisling Hubert is available for use here.

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