Union leaders are telling MPs to vote against a proposed ban on aborting babies on the grounds of their gender.
A document circulated by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) argued that the amendment to make sex-selective abortions illegal would ‘divide communities’.
It also suggests there can be ‘compelling circumstances’ to allow abortion of female foetuses – such as if a woman is at risk of domestic abuse.
The unions’ intervention into the debate provoked a major row last night ahead of today’s vote on the issue.
Religious groups, including Asian community leaders and representatives of the Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths, said there was no division on the practice and that they all viewed sex- selective abortion as abhorrent.
There was also a furious reaction from MPs, including some from Union-backed Labour, who demanded to know why the TUC was telling them how to vote on an issue of conscience.