Christian campaigners blast doctors' ethics chief calling for sex-selective abortions
Christians campaigns are slamming a leading medical ethics expert at the British Medical Association who called for sex-selective abortions to be allowed on demand.
Professor Wendy Savage argued for women to be given abortions if their child is the 'wrong' sex and said the law banning such terminations should be scrapped.
An influential member of the BMA's 18-member ethics committee, Savage told the Mail on Sunday forcing women to go through with a pregnancy when the child is a girl and the mother wants a boy 'is not going to be good for the eventual child, and it's not going to be good for [the mother's] mental health.'
Speaking in a personal capacity not on behalf of the BMA she added a woman should be able to have a late-term abortion and called for current restrictions at 24-weeks to be scrapped.
'It is the woman's right to decide,' she said.
'It's her body. She is the one taking the risks.
'The foetus is a potential human life at that stage [in the womb]; it is not an actual human life... I think you've got to concentrate on the [rights of the] woman.'
But Nola Leach, chief executive of Christian public policy charity CARE, slammed the remarks as 'extreme' and said her position on the BMA's ethics board was 'troubling'.
She told Christian Today: 'Savage's suggestion that women should be able to have an abortion based on the sex of their unborn child treats children as nothing more than a commodity.
'In society we strive for equality between men and women, knowing that they both have incredible talents and gifts and our laws protect these men and women when they are discriminated against purely on the basis of their sex. For Savage to claim that unborn children do not deserve this right too is inexcusable.'
She added that the call to remove all restrictions on the timing of termination was 'extremely disconcerting'.
She said: 'It is up to the BMA to decide whether Wendy Savage's radical opinions have a place at the table on their ethics committee when her comments do not value the life and health of both the woman and the unborn child.'
A BMA spokesman said Savage was not speaking behalf of the doctors' union.
'The BMA supports the current law on abortion. Though we recognise the diversity of opinion amongst membership, we advise members to act within the boundaries of the law and their own conscience,' he said.
'Given the range of views on this subject, patients must be entitled to impartial and objective medical advice and treatment.'