UN Study: Sex-Selection Abortions Wreaking Havoc on Nepal, Vietnam

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 29, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

UN Study: Sex-Selection Abortions Wreaking Havoc on Nepal, Vietnam Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 29,

New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — China and India have displayed the kind of social problems sex-selection abortions and infanticides of girl babies can produce. Both nations have seen an increase in prostitution and sex trafficking and have a bachelor society where crime is rampant. A new United Nations report says Nepal and Vietnam have the same problems.

Because the two nations also have social mores that favor boy babies over girls, they are now facing problematic gender ratios.

The UN Population Fund, which conducted the study, urged both nations to begin public education programs to improve respect and care for girls.

The report found that, as is the case in China and India, access to abortions and ultrasounds has produced high numbers of sex-selection abortions where girls are targeted with death.

The societal views have also produced a phenomenon of girl abandonment and the mortality rates for girls in Nepal and Vietnam is much higher.

UNFPA said Nepal and Vietnam are poised to follow their Asian neighbors, as India already has a male-female ratio as high as 120 to 100 in some areas and China has that rate nationwide.

"Life could become harder for many girls and women outnumbered by males, as pressures to conform and comply increases," the study said.

As fewer girls are born and fewer women reach their teenage and adult years, men are having a harder time finding partners and that is leading to increased rates of crime, prostitution and sex trafficking.

The UN said researchers in Nepal and Vietnam have found "pervasive son preference and acceptance of the notion that couples without sons might choose to avoid bearing daughters."

"Vietnam is in almost the same situation now as China was 10 years ago," the study said and it predicted that Vietnam’s gender ratio would become "seriously imbalanced" within a decade.

"Sex ratio imbalances only lead to far-reaching imbalances in the society at large," said Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, the director of the UN population agency. "In response, we must carry forward the message that every human being is born equal in dignity, worth and human rights."