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Sad, But No Surprise: Illegal Sex Selection Abortions in Britain

Last month, The Daily Telegraph revealed that women in Britain are being granted illegal abortions based on the sex of their baby, writes Rena Dipti Annobil.

Doctors at British clinics were secretly filmed offering terminations to women who’d asked for them because the foetus was not their preferred sex.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley ordered an inquiry and told reporters:  ‘…sex selection is illegal and morally wrong’.

I agree with Lansley but, disturbingly, also understand why some women would abort a baby because of its gender.

When I was growing up, the age-old Asian attitudes that a son is worth more than a daughter still prevailed.

Indian families ‘blessed’ with a boy distributed boxes of sweets to everyone they knew.

Those who had girls didn’t even phone people to tell them the news.

Likewise, parents of boys received hearty congratulations from their peers, while parents of girls got a sympathetic ‘never mind’.

I’m one of three girls, and although we were never made to feel less worthy, my mum faced pressure to ‘try for a boy’.

I also know women who were mistreated by their in-laws because they failed to bear sons.

My husband and I couldn’t have been happier when our two adorable daughters were born.

But shockingly, I still got the pitiful ‘never mind’ from some members of my extended family, and this was only a year ago!

I’ve also been asked if I’m going to try again for a boy.

Of course, not all Asian people agree with gender selection, and not all people who have these views are Asian.

Nevertheless, getting rid of the social pressure to have boys is something we all need to strive towards.

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Tags Sex, asian, baby, rena dipti annobil, abortions, sons, daughters, andrew lansley, daily telegraph, indian, male, female, illegal, gender selection, sex selection, termination
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