Lord Macdonald, the former Director of Public Prosecutions
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Lord MacDonald: Prosecuting doctors in public interest

The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has demanded urgent clarification of a decision not to prosecute two doctors accused of arranging abortions based on the sex of the unborn child.

The cases were brought to light by an undercover investigation for the Daily Telegraph, but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said that bringing a prosecution would not be in the public interest.

Speaking to the Today programme, Lord Macdonald, the former director of public prosecutions, said: "What the CPS is saying is that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute these doctors, but because they're subject to professional regulation it's not in the public interest to prosecute.

"The Abortion Act of 1967 allows terminations in a range of circumstances, but not for the purposes of gender selection. I would have thought on the face of it, there's a strong public interest in prosecuting them."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Thursday 5 September 2013.

  • 05 Sep 2013