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Women should be told the sex of the foetus when they are scanned during pregnancy, a senior, retired obstetrician has said.

Prof Wendy Savage told the Mail on Sunday that withholding the information because of fears over sex-selective abortions was “outrageous”.

Some hospitals have a policy not to reveal the sex, but Professor Savage said it was a woman’s right to know.

She also said it was a “woman’s right to decide” when to ask for an abortion.

Speaking after MPs voted to introduce a bill to repeal an 1861 law criminalising abortion this week, she told the Mail on Sunday: “It’s her body and her foetus, so she should have that information.

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