A woman who was forced to have a sex-selection abortion is now speaking out about her ordeal.
Samira (not her real name) agreed to tell her story to The Independent newspaper after it ran a series of articles on sex-selection abortions and how it is skewing gender ratios in nations like China and India.
Mike Schouten, Campaign Director for We Need a Law, a Canadian pro-life group, commented on the story.
“Samira is a courageous woman who decided to tell her story. Unfortunately, there are many more women faced with similar choices. This is not a problem isolated to the United Kingdom or any one country. Gendercide is a global problem and it’s time for governments to recognize their responsibility in restraining this immoral activity in the countries they lead,” he said.
The voice on the other end of the telephone was nervous and excited. A young mother had taken an enormous risk by contacting The Independent herself to thank us for our coverage earlier this year of the scandal of Britain’s lost girls – the female foetuses aborted because they were the “wrong” sex.
After three or four more telephone conversations, she agreed that we could write about her own harrowing experience of being pressed into having abortions by her husband after pregnancy ultrasound scans had shown that she was carrying girls.
The British-born woman of Pakistani parentage wanted her story to be told so that the wider world can know of the physical and emotional torment she and others in her position have had to endure as a result of terminating a pregnancy because it would have led to an unwanted daughter.
Samira (not her real name) agreed to speak to us only on condition of complete anonymity, and some of her identifying details have been deliberately changed to protect her privacy.
She said that she fears for her safety – and that her family might be split up – if her husband finds out she has spoken to the press about the two abortions she has had under his influence.
Samira is pregnant again and about to have an ultrasound scan, but is terrified that it will show she is once more carrying a girl, which will inevitably lead to yet another abortion.
“Since falling pregnant, I think about it all the time. What’s going to happen? I’m really, really scared. I’m stressed out and I’m having nightmares about bleeding and being beaten up,” Samira said. “I think about running away with her and having the baby somewhere, but the thing is I can’t leave my children with him… I have my duty to my other children. I can’t leave them for someone who is not born. I don’t want it to happen.”
“The nurse saw I was upset but she said ‘just put these tablets inside you’. They weren’t concerned that this person looked upset. I was crying but I was trying to be careful because what if they didn’t go ahead with the abortion and then my husband would blame me,” she said.
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“I just wanted them to stop. I just wanted to run away from there, but the thing was, where would I run away to? What would I do? The last day before I had the abortion I said to him very clearly that what he was doing was wrong …. I felt I couldn’t make the choice on my own because if I’d made that choice and gone ahead with the baby then he would actually end the pregnancy himself. He would probably beat me up to such a state that there would probably be no pregnancy inside me. I was scared of that.
“The worse thing was, when I went in, I had a bump, and when I came out there was no bump. I kept touching it and I just wanted to scream but the noise wouldn’t come out. I felt as if I was screaming but no noise was coming out. I wanted my baby back.”