Abortion is illegal in the United Kingdom except when (outside of Northern Ireland) two doctors agree that it is in the interests of the psychological or physical health of the mother that the pregnancy be terminated. For some reason nobody seems to notice that two human beings go in to an abortion clinic and (usually) only one comes out alive. It absolutely is not grounds for abortion that "we wanted a boy but this is a girl".
The London Daily Telegraph filmed two doctors being told by a woman that she wanted an abortion because of the baby's gender and then conniving in putting something more acceptable on the paperwork. You can hear the woman saying of her putative baby girl "…that's not really appropriate for us right now. We were hoping for a boy and so we are not looking to have this baby at the moment." At a clinic in Manchester, Dr Prabha Sivaraman changes the subject: "I don't ask questions. If you want a termination, you want a termination". Then, on the telephone she is telling a colleague "it is basically social reasons". Sivaraman seems to be putting the strong arm on the other doctor at 1:40 "you are part of our team and she doesn't want questions asked". At 1:58 the woman says "it is the wrong gender" Sivaraman seems to be embarrassed but she says nothing.
Dr Raj Mohan in Birmingham says frankly "it's like the female infanticide isn't it?" Then the woman asks him to put down a different reason so he agrees and says "I'll put too young for pregnancy." Even though the woman has already told him she already has a child and a "partner" and wanted another baby, provided that baby is a boy.
None of this should be surprising. These doctors are already making a living ripping tiny human beings to pieces, for the convenience of adults. They can hardly be expected to refuse because the only reason for doing so is because of the baby's sex. The shocking thing is that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) deliberated about this case for nineteen months, agreed there was enough evidence to proceed with a prosecution for criminal attempt but insisted that it was not in the public interest to do so. It is difficult to see under what circumstances, according to the CPS, it would ever be in the public interest to prosecute.
It is possible to be convicted of criminal attempt if the accused believes he is committing the offence (smuggling heroin in the leading case) but in fact he is not (the heroin turned out to be harmless powder. Therefore it is immaterial whether or not the woman truly wanted an abortion or even whether or not she was pregnant.
Philip Johnston alludes to the fact that sex selection abortions are the concern of certain *ahem* ethnic groups.
It is hard to see any reason not to proceed with a prosecution other than because the two subjects – abortion and ethnicity – were seen as too politically toxic.
He also posts the "reasons" given by the CPS for its decision.