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Sex-selection abortions could be allowed under proposed bill

As the debate over decriminalising abortion intensifies in NSW Parliament there are concerns over the possibility the bill would allow sex-selection abortions.

The proposed legislation would allow terminations on request for women who are up to 22 weeks pregnant.

After this time, women may have an abortion if two doctors agree it is necessary for physical, social or psychological reasons.

But some are concerned it doesn’t protect against abortions on the basis of gender.

In 2013, a Victorian doctor was brought before the medical board after refusing a couple the right to an abortion when they told him they wanted a boy instead of a girl.

General Practitioner Dr David Van Gend tells Ben Fordham the absence of a reason will allow women to abort because of the gender of the baby.

“Presently the law keeps a lid on these gross abuses.

“Many doctors will draw the line at sex-selection abortions. That’s all about to disappear in NSW.”

But Our Bodies Our Choices CEO Claire Pullen tells Ben she does not believe this would occur on a large scale.

“I’m very sceptical about how often this would actually happen and I’d be very surprised if it’s happening of anything like the level that people who are scaremongering about this think it is.”

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Image: Getty/ Saeed Khan