Christine Rousselle

Following troubling reports about the effects of sex-selective abortion on gender ratios in certain communities in the United Kingdom, Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt released new guidelines that aim to close the "loophole" that permitted these abortions to take place.

The health secretary and GMC will close what MPs have described as an "utterly preposterous" loophole used by prosecutors to avoid bringing charges.

The guidance is expected to say that doctors who carry out abortions based on the sex of an unborn baby and pre-sign abortion forms are breaking the law.

Abortion clinics will also be required to explicitly recognise that gender-based abortions are illegal as part of their licence conditions.

Earlier this year, reports showed anywhere between 1,500 and 4,700 infant girls were "missing" in certain ethnic communities in the United Kingdom. This was discovered after examining first-generation immigrants with two-child families and discovering that families with eldest daughters were significantly more likely to have a son as their younger child. This difference does not occur naturally, and gender-based abortion was labeled as the likely cause for this anomaly.

In the United States, aborting a child for being the "wrong" sex remains legal in most states.

Christine Rousselle

Christine Rousselle is the Managing Web Editor with Follow her on Twitter at @crousselle.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography

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