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U.K. doctors suspected of gender selection

LONDON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- London police say they are investigating three doctors suspected of terminating pregnancies at the request of women after they learned they were carrying girls.

One doctor at the Calthorpe Clinic in Edgbaston, Birmingham, was caught on tape offering to plan an abortion for a woman who said she didn't want to have a girl, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

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"It's like female infanticide isn't it?" Dr. Raj Mohan said before agreeing to the illegal procedure, the newspaper said.

Clinic staff members are suspected of falsifying paperwork.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley called the practice "morally repugnant" and said two other clinics also are being investigated.

"Carrying out an abortion on the grounds of gender alone is in my view morally repugnant," Lansley wrote in an article for the Telegraph.

"It is also illegal. Whatever an individual's opinion on abortion … laws in this country are decided by Parliament, not by individual doctors. If some professionals disagree with the law as it stands they should argue their case for change. Simply flouting them in a belief that they know better is unacceptable.

"Anyone indulging in illegal activity must understand that they are running a great risk. The potential penalty for breaking abortion legislation is imprisonment. Doctors could be struck off. And we will not hesitate to pursue any evidence which comes into our hands."

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