Well, Monty was plain flat wrong there, and he is continuing the tradition in no style at all by talking up Congleton MP Fiona Bruce’s amendment to the Serious Crimes Bill, which was defeated yesterday in the Commons. The Observer had noted “Outwardly, it appears reasonable. A woman in this country who says she is coerced into agreeing to the termination of a female foetus would have some protection in law”.
However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, the article continued “It is disputed that ‘gendercide’ exists in this country on any significant scale. Department of Health research into birth ratios could find no evidence. Even if gendercide is a major issue, criminalising women and doctors, as this amendment would do, is not the answer”. Words like “gendercide” and “femicide” were being bandied about before the debate.
Monty has been suggesting to Times readers that “Unborn children are being aborted because they're girls. That should be illegal”. In the UK? I’d love to see his evidence in support of that one. But he had support from someone who knows his law: “Big legal brain Dominic Grieve explains why he'll be voting to stop abortion by gender”. Grieve is a sound bloke, but not everyone calls issues the right way all the time.
Would Monty care to get a further opinion? You betcha, says Sarah: “No more aborting girl foetuses on the ground that they are girls" - [Cristina Odone] says it well” he told. But the amendment was lost, provoking unhappiness from Mid Bedfordshire MP (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries: “Labour whipped femicide abortion vote - [Anna Soubry] Conservative MP for Broxtowe, lined up with Labour women”.
Note the casual use of the term “femicide”. But enough of this: let us move to the main event, which is that rather a lot of people have been talking through the backs of their necks. As Sarah Wollaston, Tory MP of independent mind, put it, “Abortion on the grounds of gender alone is already illegal. I fear the Bruce amendment has a different agenda & I won't be supporting it”. Comment from Mr Montgomerie, perchance?
Dr Wollaston confirms that “The amendment is also unnecessary because doctors already know that it is against the law to carry out an abortion solely because of the gender of the foetus unless there are other grounds”. Of the Bruce amendment, she concludes “This is a Trojan horse”. The impression is therefore given that Monty has not given his readers an accurate portrayal of the issues. That’s not good enough.