The ethical case against sex-selective abortion isn’t simple
September 25, 2018
A key theme in public debate over abortion in many countries over the last few years has been the morality and legality of sex-selective terminations. Now the use of an early prenatal testing technique in the UK has led to further concerns.
The Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) is being fully introduced on the NHS this year, as a safe method of detecting Down’s Syndrome and other genetic conditions. But it has been internationally available from private providers for a number of years, and, as a 2017 report noted, is often offered as a sex-determination test. This has raised concerns that the test may be used to facilitate sex-selective abortion – particularly within communities where women can be subject to strong cultural and familial pressure not to have girls. The current legal status of this practice in the UK is a matter of some controversy.