Gender selection – current practice in Asia

Publié le 20 Jul, 2014

Twenty years ago, India adopted a law banning prenatal gender tests in order to prevent numerous gender selective abortions against girls. However, the legislation does not seem to have been applied. According to a recent UNICEF report, India has lost over 10 million girls due to selective abortions since 2007. 

On 17 July 2014, the country’s Supreme Court asked states to draft a report outlining how they intend to apply legislation to counteract the abortion of female foetuses. The Supreme Court will next meet on 16 September to reassess this issue.

After India, which is attempting to prevent selective abortions, it seems that Asia in general is a region where gender selection is current practice. In fact, Thailand is one of the main destinations – excluding the United States and South Africa – chosen by Asian women to select the gender of their child through in-vitrofertilisation. 


According to Alfred Siu Wing-Fung, one of the many tourist agents specialising in health care, this practice involves approximately 200 Chinese couples each year. He also estimates that approximately 10,000 gender-selection procedures were carried out in Bangkok last year at the cost of 15,000 euros per treatment. He added that the majority of equipment and medication were imported and that, very often, the doctors and nurses were trained abroad. 


The Thailand Medical Association is currently attempting a campaign to prevent this kind of practice. However, the project is far from being a priority for the government given the political instability currently facing the country. (Swati Deb) 18/07/2014 – Bioedge (Xavier Simons) 18/07/2014

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