GRC Research Seminar - ‘Stop Gendercide’ campaign: What it tells us about contemporary UK abortion politics
Dr Fran Amery (University of Bath) will be presenting her research on ‘Stop Gendercide’ campaign: What it tells us about contemporary UK abortion politics.
Date: 28th November
Venue: LG3 10 Priory Rd
The Stop Gendercide campaign alleges that many South Asian women in the UK have had – or have been forced to have – ‘sex-selective’ abortions, i.e. because they were carrying a female foetus. In 2015, one MP associated with the campaign attempted to amend the law in order to explicitly criminalise such abortions. Pro-choice groups denounced the amendment as a ‘Trojan horse’ that would have opened the door for further restrictions on abortion, and it ultimately failed. Following recent claims that non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is being widely used to allow sex-selective abortion, Stop Gendercide have renewed their calls for an outright ban. This paper unpicks the implications of the campaign for UK abortion politics. It tracks the evolving response of abortion rights campaigners, in particular their efforts to engage in outreach work with minority women’s groups. It asks how the mainstream pro-choice movement, which has historically been poorly equipped to engage with issues primarily affecting South Asian communities, could better organise in future. It also charts the alliances that have developed on the pro-criminalisation side, in particular between Christian Right organisations and some South Asian women’s groups.