Sex-selection abortions are an international problem — and the horrendous phenomenon is no more prevalent anywhere than in southeast Asia. There in nations like China and India, girl unborn babies are routinely aborted because cultural mores favor boys over girls. Vietnam, tragically, is no exception.
And it is there, in that formerly war-torn nation, where a wife kowtowed to the pressures of her husband and had 18 abortions of girl babies because he wanted a son. Finally, when she was pregnant with a boy, abortion wasn’t an option.
Sex-selection abortions in Vietnam have skewed the male-female gender ratio.
According to UNFPA, the sex ratio at birth (the number of boys born to every 100 girls) is becoming imbalanced. Part of the reason for this is the cultural preference for boys and the nation’s limit of only two children per family.
This has led to an incidence of sex-selection abortions and infanticides that are seen in other Asian countries where social norms are different from the industrialized West. It also leads to sex trafficking, child abandonment, and a society where men can’t find partners to marry and start families of their own.
The national sex ratio at birth as reported in the 2006 survey was 110 boys to every 100 girls, which slightly exceeds the expected ratio of 105-107 boys to every 100 girls.