Post # 46
LilliV : It is definitely a complex issue, but the sense I got from this particular Planned Parenthood was that they had the resources to help a woman in that situation get away from an abusive partner, not just deny them the abortion and send them back home. That will not be the case in all clinics though.
This doesn’t always stem from abuse or a controlling partner though. In the UK the context in which this is usually talked about is the cultural aspect. A number of immigrant cultures in the UK do not value girls and it isn’t from a husband forcing the women to have an abortion, so while the protocols you mention are great for some circumstance, they don’t necessarily help with this issue.
Also people can say that women can abort based on gender if they want to, their choice, but in the UK that is illegal.
Post # 47
LilliV : was just a thought process I had. In my case there are no genitic issues which make knowing the sex in any way important so it is not (to my mind) medically necessary information. This prob feeds more into how I view my children than anything else. I am a big believer that they are their own people with their own bodily autonomy and therefore my ability to make decisions for them is limited. For example I didn’t have my son’s tongue tie cut because there was no real need to – his latch and breastfeeding wasn’t affected, I believe circumcision is cruel and unnecessary, I refuse permission for his image to be used for any public purpose or to appear on social media (DON’T WANT TO START A DEBATE ON ANY OF THESE INDIVIDUAL ISSUES, THESE ARE JUST EXAMPLES TO ILLUSTATE MY POINT)
Post # 48
This is an excellent post.
Female foeticide is a huge problem in certain countries, it’s estimated that around 100 million girls are missing in Asia alone due to the problem, that’s 11% of the population. It causes many issues in society as techmom outlined in her post. The U.K. has a large community of people from cultures where female foeticide is prevalant so this is a necessary step to help prevent the problems in Asia from happening here.
There is a also an issue of health tourism, which is hard to quantify and often underestimated due to the complexity of the healthcare system and numerous loopholes which are exploited. For example, people who are not eligible for free healthcare in the U.K. can simply turn up at A&E or a walk in centre and receive free healthcare as they are classed as emergency services, which are free for tourists. There is also the issue of people receiving treatment which they are billed for, leaving the country and not paying. Another problem is people using family members or friends’ identities and NHS numbers to receive treatment, and people obtaining NHS numbers fraudulently or without proper checks. I work in the NHS so have seen this fairly often.
Also, abortions based on sex are illegal in the U.K. (unless for medical reasons) so if this is a way to prevent that then I don’t see how people can argue against it, as other than medical reasons, there is no need to find out the sex of the baby that early into a pregnancy, so I can’t see a decent argument against this to be honest.
All the information out there shows sex selective abortions are a problem for various reasons and laws such as the one proposed reduce their occurance, so this can only be a good thing.
Post # 49
Twizbe : I am a big believer that they are their own people with their own bodily autonomy and therefore my ability to make decisions for them is limited.
I agree with this point as well for children! It’s just a matter of where we draw the line as parents and it’s going to be different for each of us. I’m a huge stickler for not forcing my daughter to give hugs and kisses when she doesn’t want to (she’s 14.5 months and in a big “no” phase at the moment). It is her body and her choice to give affection as she sees fit. However did I end up holding her down to change a poopy diaper that she adamently refused to have changed after much discussion? You betcha – it’s her body but at the same time she isn’t smart enough to know that having feces smear around her privates causes UTIs (which she has already had once). This was a bit off topic, but just wanted to say I get your point and agree with, I just don’t put a fetus and a child out of the womb in the same category necessarily.
Post # 50
The government already decide what is a valid reason for terminating a pregnancy here, as someone mentioned an abortion has to be agreed by two doctors and sex selective abortions are illegal. Legally speaking abortion is not allowed on demand here, there are criteria that have to be met before you can obtain one:
Post # 51
LilliV : Interestingly – I only do with my children…. other women can make their own minds up but both of my pregnancies were planned and I def already see this current pregnancy as their own person.
ariesscientist : Thank you for this – you were able to explain some of the issues with health tourism and the NHS better than me.
Post # 52
I am in the U.S. where the nipt test is common along with finding out the gender. People using the test to decide whether to abort due to gender never crossed my mind – crazy. We found out gender via nipt. It was still a surprise but a surprise then instead of like 28 weeks later.
Post # 53
Scarlett11 : I think for the vast majority of parents, aborting based on gender isn’t on their mind either…. but for some it is an issue.
I remember being told by my friend’s American mum that I did things ‘the old fashioned way’ because I didn’t find out with my son lol
Post # 54
ariesscientist : Interesting, I didn’t know the UK put so much burden on the woman to prove that she’s having an abortion for the “right” reasons. I’m curious – how would you even go about proving that a couple is having an abortion due to gender selection? Couldn’t anyone simply lie about their real motivation? It seems like it would be very difficult to enforce that law. Particularly because, as pp mentioned, even without the NIPT you can find out the gender through a routine scan at 16 weeks, which is well before the 24-week cutoff for abortion.
For example, item C: “the pregnancy has not exceeded its 24th week and the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman”
How do you prove this, particularly where mental health is concerned??
Post # 55
Twizbe : I guess I just don’t see the need to take that information away from mothers. If they’re doing the test, and its information that is available normally– I’m not OK with the government withholding certain facts about me just because a small group of people a continent away might try and take advantage of the system. Like a PP stated, where there’s a will, there’s a way. So finding out at 10 weeks vs 20 weeks will likely give the same result if they feel THAT strongly about it
I don’t think the solution to the gender bias issue is banning information halfway across the world. Plus, it gets into the squirminess of intent and policing intent– and ultimately someone other than the mother deciding what is best for her own body.
Like you– if a woman decides she wants to be Team Green, that is good for her! But forcing people to not have access to data that could be readily available is, IMO, really overreaching. And anyones opinion on whether or not it is frivolous or whatever is irrelevant, because no one is better than anyone else for wanting to know or not wanting to know, it’s just preference.
Post # 56
tiffanybruiser : I triedto give an example earlier but not sure I got it right. So Woman gets pregnant, she will book in with a midwife at 8 weeks and at that point will be asked if pregnancy was planned, husband is father etc… lots of questions about the pregnancy and mother’s feelings towards it.
As a standard there is a scan at 12 and 20 weeks. Earliest she could find out under current situation is 20 weeks.
If she then went to the doctor and said she didn’t want to be pregnant questions would be asked about what changed. Especially as the doctor would be able to see that there are no medical reasons for a termination, but would see that the baby is a girl. The majority of terminations post 20 weeks are due to medical issues.
She could give other reasons, but I think it would raise some red flags and things would be looked it.
Post # 57
fromatoz : Just to be clear it is not just people coming to the UK that might try to access sex selective abortions. It is people from the UK too. In fact preventing British people from having sex selective abortions is the main purpose of this, the health tourism is another factor.
It is true, I cannot think of any other information about me which is withheld from me without my consent (or that I don’t have the right to request) I also don’t know if it is possible to do these tests without finding out the gender.
Under the current proposals you could go and pay £200 to have the test done privately and be told everything. It is only tests conducted under the NHS which won’t tell the parents the sex of the baby.
Post # 58
Oh man this is a toughie. I absolutely see the rationale behind supporting a blanket ban because I come from a culture where this is far more prevalent than I care to admit. And it’s not just a few. We have literally hundreds of millions of “bare stick” (unmarried) men that sociologists have described as a ticking demographic time bomb.
When I was pregnant with my first, I visited the home country for a couple of weeks. Had spotting while I was there and having had a previous miscarriage, I freaked out and went to the hospital. I was a single-digit number of weeks along and it was obviously way too early to tell the sex, but still they would not even let me look at the US screen. Medical professionals really take the ban seriously there, because there are definitely people and not just a few who would selectively abort a female fetus. It happens less in the cities, which is why the sex ratio is not as skewed in the cities than it is in some rural areas, where the ratio is much, much worse and people literally bid on what few girls there are. But still happens and not an insignificant amount.
On the other hand, I also have doubts about how effective a blanket ban on finding out the sex in other countries would be in stopping sex-selection abortion “tourism”. If they are that determined, they’d send their bloodwork elsewhere, pay for a black market ultrasound, something else. Abuse prevention protocols at abortion clinics will not be all that effective to stop this type of abortions. Even if the mother manages to deliver her girl baby, their ordeal is far from over. Because from all the anecdata I’ve read about this, the mother is usually not the one choosing it. It’s her husband or actually in many–would even venture to say the majority of–the instances, the pressure is coming from her MOTHER-IN-LAW. Yeah crazy as that sounds. Idk if it’s like an “I had to suffer therefore so do you” type of thing?? But a lot of times it’s the women who play a major role in perpetuating traditions and societal pressures that harm women. : (
Post # 59
wow I didnt realize sex selective abortions was such a big problem in the UK. Typically its in countries where women are essentially 2nd class citizens and boys are heavily favored- India, China. They have already, and will continue to wreck havoc on their population with this practice. Banning sex selective abortion works as well as banning any sort of abortion- barely or not at all. Determined people find a way. Banning the practice is like putting a bandaid on a staph infected wound. The disease is misogny, sex selective abortion is just one symptom.
If they tried to make that ban in the US I dont think it would fly. You have a right to your medical information- the government shouldnt be involved in that.
Post # 60
Twizbe : Do you not have elective ultrasound places in the UK? You can find out usually as early as 15-16 weeks.