Gender selective abortion: a current but illegal practice in Great Britain

Publié le : 24 January 2014

 An enquiry conducted by The Independent newspaper published on 17 January 2014 has revealed that pre-natal gender selection abortion is a current albeit illegal practice in Great Britain. The newspaper emphasised that abortions carried out to avoid daughters had led to the "disappearance" of between 1,400 and 4,700 girls in England and Wales. It also pointed out that approximately 10% of the 190,000 abortions carried out in these areas in 2011 took place after 13 weeks of pregnancy when the sex organs of the foetus are clearly visible from ultrasound scans and doctors can predict gender with an accuracy of over 99%.

However, this practice does not only concern the United Kingdom where selective abortion was denounced in February 2012. In the European Union, for example, "the number of delayed voluntary abortions has doubled in the Netherlands since 2007 when the introduction of a general ultrasound scan in the twentieth week of pregnancy confirmed the gender of the foetus amongst other things". This practice has also been observed in Sweden. As far back as five years ago in Norway, the Public Health Agency denounced the fact that "families could make the most of the longer timeframe in neighbouring countries to have an abortion after finding out the sex of the foetus". France "is still spared this phenomenon". 
As far as Eastern Europe is concerned (Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia) an INED report published in December 2013 also highlighted this practice and noted a high male birth rate (Gènéthique press review of December 12th, 2013). 

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