Two doctors may face separate trials after a pro-life charity worker brought criminal charges of illegal gender-based abortions against them.
In January, Dr Palaniappan Rajmohan appeared before Birmingham Crown Court, charged with allegedly offering an illegal abortion because the unborn child was female.
In February, female doctor Prabha Sivaraman was due to enter a plea, after being scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing before the Crown Court in Manchester, accused of allegedly offering an abortion based on gender.
The doctors had been filmed secretly as part of an undercover sting by the Daily Telegraph, in which it was claimed that they allegedly offered abortion as a solution for the ‘patient’ who did not want a baby girl.
Initially, the Crown Prosecution Service claimed it would not have been in the public interest to launch criminal proceedings against the doctors. However, 21-year-old Aisling Hubert, supported by the Christian Legal Centre, brought private prosecutions against them, in what is reported to be the first trial of its kind in the UK (see Evangelical Times, December 2014).
Dr Rajmohan has been ordered to appear before the Crown Court on 21 May 2015. He has been accused 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’.
Earlier this year, Fiona Bruce MP tabled an amendment to the Serious Crime Bill, confirming that abortion on the basis of gender is illegal. More than 100 MPs have signed the amendment.
On Monday 23 February, MPs were scheduled to vote on whether sex-selection abortion should be illegal. Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said, ‘There has been public outcry over revelations of gender-abortion in the UK. We are proud to stand with this brave young woman’.