Sex selective abortion rampant

Kathmandu, February 3

Sex selective abortion is illegal and punishable as per the laws, but it has become rampant in recent years mainly due to parents’ preference for sons.

Sharada (name changed), a 28-year-old woman from Bhaktapur Sharada, has two daughters already and when she was expecting her third child she decided to go for sex selection mainly due to family pressure.  For this, she along with her husband went to India and when they came to know that she had a baby girl in her womb, she decided to abort the three-week-old foetus.

Because of unsafe abortion, now she is suffering from lower abdomen pain, bleeding and weakness. “Everyone in the family wants a son as they believe that only a son can continue the family line and take the responsibility of parents in old age,” said Sharada.

“Sex selective abortions can lead to serious gender imbalance in the country in the long term,” said Tarak Dhital, executive director at Central Child Welfare Board.

According to World Health Organisation, normal sex ratio at birth varies from 102 to 106 males per 100 females.

According to the data with Bhaktapur Hospital, of the total babies born at the hospital in the fiscal 2016-17, 640 were boys and 561 girls. At Paropakar Maternity and Women’s Hospital, 8,772 baby boys and 7,553 baby girls were born in the same fiscal.