London: A 46-year-old Indian-origin doctor in the UK has appeared before a court after being accused of planning an abortion based on the sex of the unborn baby, the first of its kind case ever to come to court in Britain.
Dr Prabha Sivaraman, appeared at Manchester Magistrates Court on Friday accused under the Offences Against the Person Act.
The case is part of a rare private prosecution brought by a pro-life campaigner and supported by the Christian Legal Centre after the Crown Prosecution Service decided against charging Sivaraman and another physician.
Manchester magistrates' court heard that Dr Sivaraman is accused of conspiracy to procure poison to be used with intent to procure abortion.
The offence relates to an occasion on February 8, 2012 when Silvaraman is alleged to have offered an abortion to a woman who said she wanted it based on the baby's gender.
It will next be heard at Manchester Crown Square on January 15 next year.
Abortion is legal in mainland Britain under the 1967 Abortion Act which permits terminations in certain circumstances, most commonly where two doctors agree that continuing the pregnancy could more be harmful to the woman or her existing children than ending it.
Some abortion providers claim the law is "silent" on the question of gender but the prosecution is based on the argument that precisely because it is not a ground under the Act it is therefore illegal.