Artificial Termination of Pregnancy: Selective Abortion


In various society , day by day the density and cartography of the artificial termination of a pregnancy is changing, based on political, social-economic, cultural and other factors (from Latin ‘’abortus ‘’miscarriage; abortion’’ ). 

The number of artificial abortion of pregnancyin the world is around 50 million per year, which forms 0.7% of the world’s population.During the abortion process the maternal mortality ratio is 70000, around 0.001% of the world’s population.

The yearbook of Armenian National Statistical Service, ‘’the Ministry of Health’’ states, that if the official number of abortion in 1990s was 33.158, then according to the statistical datum, in 2014 the number of abortion was 12.019, from which 6040 was done by the will of women, 3640 was spontaneous (automatically, as a result of various diseases, poisoning), 2212` by medical abortion, including 53 medical and 74 surgical abortion, by vacuum aspiration. Statistical data states the reduction of abortion during the last 25 years, including the reduction of population and pregnancy rate, based on emigration and other social factors.

At a regional level in Armenia, the image of induced abortion varies, based on literacy rate, awareness, social-security and other factors of the population. Here, the preference is towards the traditional method, as the majority of the region has no idea about the surgical abortion at all. The image of the abortion in the region is the following: in Lori 974, in Kotayk 607, in Armavir 354, in Ararat 352, in Gegharqunik 240, in Syunik 85 and so on and so forth.

The availability of induced abortion in both cities and villages is based on many factors, emphasizing the tough social-economic situation, fornication, the low level of sexual education (sexual-upbringing), and unawareness of avoiding pregnancy by the use of alternative methods and so on. Workplaces, jobs, pensions for young families, extra assistance and other factors are the main infrastructures, to overcome the situation. The main gap of educational system is the low level of sexual education. Hence, it is important to organize separate informative courses, not only about sexual health and puberty, but also the use of alternative means and about avoiding unwanted pregnancy. This approach will allow us to educate an informed citizen, avoiding various sexual diseases,unwanted pregnancy and abortion.

In addition, with the number of induced abortion Armenia is the 26thamong 100other countries.

Gender based abortion

After the collapse of Soviet Union, gender imbalances were seen in Armenia based on political ups and downs, social – economic instability, stereotypical mindset in the society and other moral and psychological factors. These gender imbalances led to the development of demographic issues and the beginning of induced abortion (selective abortion).

The 1st newborn gender imbalances have been noticed since the 1990s, when the sex ratio of newborns was120 boys per 100 girls. In the year of 2000, the situation was a bit milder and with the data of 2012, the sex ratio of newborns was 114 boys per 120 girls, but by enacted demography it should be 102-106 boys, with a comparison of 100 girls. In some regions, for example in Armavir, this index has reached the red line, with the ratio of 120 boys per 100 girls.

In 2011, the ratio data by the representative at the United Nations Population Fund country office state that during the last 5 years there was about 7200 gender based abortion in Armenia and there is no female birth, more than 1400-1500.

On the 2nd chart sex ratio at birth is being served. According to the statistical data, the gender based abortion is brightly expressed in case of the 3rd and 4rth child, especially within the women with high education and stabile profit (morethan 100000 dram). At first birth the gender preference is missing.

Generally, the selective abortion is based on tough social- economic condition, cultural (mentality), moral and psychological and other factors.

Below, let’s represent the basic effects, factors, resulted in selective abortion and let’s clarify many serious issues, such as demographic, political and social-psychological, as a result of selective abortion.

Why to refer gender based abortion?

1.In the basis of selective abortion,preference toward a son is traditional in Armenian society, which is based on the necessity to continue the tribe, the desire to have an heir and so on.

2.Men economic and social activity is considered to be higher; as a result, there is discriminative attitude towards baby girls.

  1. In case of having one or two girls, the family prefers a boy, rather than a girl again, because of a bad financial and tough social condition.
  2. Having a boy, is something about honor, self-esteem and pride in Armenian society, this means that there is social, psychological dissonance.This leads to a moral-psychological pressure towards the women by the husband’s family and as a result, she refers to selective abortion.
  3. The availability of appropriate medical equipments(such as an ultrasound research, through genetic tests and so on) allow to know the gender of the baby and to do corresponding interference.
  4. Nowadays, the couples prefer to have one or two kids, increasing the ratio of selective abortion.

The issues, as a result of gender based abortion

Above mentioned indexes about population’s reproduction state the serious deflections of demography, including ethnographical, social and other issues.

Of course, demography is a cyclic, dynamic process. This means, there is a moment, whenthe high birthrate replaces the low birthrate and vice versa all the time. Hence, the country’s main function is to mitigate these cycles, in order not to have extreme manifestations. People’s artificial interference disturbs not only natural cycles andequilibrium, but also imbalances the relationship between female and male genders. This imbalance may not lead to serious demographic movements in a short period of time, but in a long period of time there is going to be a shortening of marriages, as a result of female ratio decrease. Plus, male adult will emigrate in order to marry. This circumstance leads to economic, social, cultural and other issues. On one hand, there is no guarantee,for the return of the male adult and for the settlement over there. This means that we are opening a path towards the deepening of economic crisis and severe emigration. On the other hand, even if the man returns, having foreign wife, there is going to be exchange of national culture. The role of Armenian values will be replaced by the foreign ones, as a woman is considered to be the supporting column of kids and the nation.Besides, kids perceive their mother tongue, while communicating with their mother.

Armenia faces threat of demographic crises. The death rate rises above the birth rate, which is already serious social issue, plus the number of selective abortion has also risen, sucking the social politics into stagnation. Because of the low number of the population and selective abortions is not only a threat of national security, but also we lose 1400 potential mothers annually.

Abortion is discrimination against unborn children, which has no solution within the framework of Legislation, as this problem is more like family’s personal life. Plus, the countries with high male rates are having quantitative growth of crime, violence and many other defective phenomena.

One of the main issues is women’s health, as the abortion harms vital organs of female reproductive system, leading to infertility.

Choices and mechanisms are planned to prevent sex-selective abortions.

The fact, not having any prohibition towards gender based abortion within the framework of Legislation yet, is noteworthy. But in July the 2nd, 2015, the Armenian government represented a package of projects about making amendments on Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights, and making amendments in RA Code on Administrative infringement, which will be discussed by the National Assembly of the RA. According to the package of projects it is necessary to develop a law towards prohibiting prenatal sex-selective abortion, and in case of infringement of the law, sanctions would be implemented.  The law prohibits abortions after 12 weeks, with written agreement by woman. Abortions are allowed from 12 to 22 weeks pregnancy on health and social indications (with political and demographic course adopted by the government), again with written agreement by woman. But, if the woman wants to do abortion within the framework of norms by the law, then the doctor is to give the pregnant woman 3 days to come to a final conclusion. Unlike an acting law, here the abortion place by licensed medical institutions is performed. The importance to practice the law is based on the legislative regulations and mechanisms, clarifying the abortion requirements, establishing administrative responsibility, in case of the infringement of abortion law by the doctors, as a result reducing the number of gender based abortions.

The implementation of the law is really necessary, but it may run into encumbrances, especially the cases, when doctors don’t talk with the parents, trying to keep them away from abortion, because of the promised money. This project will be justified in a short period of time, as in a long period of time it is needed to take steps; strengthening family’s social and financial stability, organizing informative educational events, breaking gender based stereotypes in the society, promoting the qualitative layer development of thoughts and consciousness. But even these events may not be justified, because in the villages and towns, there are issues based on women’s development and awareness levels, inducement to refer toabortion, stereotypes and moral-psychological factors.  Hence, it is necessary to make studies and researches in various populated areas and to take appropriate steps.

Therefore, social issues, such as poverty, emigration, selective abortion and so on, promote not only weakening of the country, but also disturb the natural development of the society. Having a war conflict is typical for Armenia, so these demographic issues have great impact onpolitical, economical and military areas. The overcoming of the issue is urgent, as according to the official sources in the recent years, approximately 50000 girls were not born. And during the forthcoming 50 years, this number will reach to 100000, if the rate of selective abortion is not reduced. Armenia only yields to China, with its percentage of gender based abortion, taking the 2nd place.

In order to overcome this problem, it is important not only the regulation and clarification of the Legislation, but improving the social of women, both in the family and in the mindset of society. Women will value and appreciate her, if they get consultation disposing of education and information and moral-psychological promotion. Church also has an important role here, implementing preaching-educational functions. In the process of informing, the mass media and other social institutions have their roles also, raising civil education and literacy (of course, together with the university education).

Besides, the favorable social economic conditions of the family are one of the main factors. This circumstance will mitigate the financial problem, which leads to ratio of gender based abortion; will promote financial stability and strengthening family-relationships. And if the social pensions, given for newborn babies are considered to be less productive policy in a short period of time, then the promotion of  stability of social –economy, such as the development  of industry, workplaces, employment and so on, are considered to be productive policy in a long period of time, promoting both birthrates and reduction of abortion.

From the analysis, it is obvious that government’s legislation regulations are main factors to solve and overcome the gender based abortion problems, but with parallel, various public, political-economic, social-psychological and other events must be taken into account. Not only in a medium-term, (actions will be implemented within 2 years) will these events providehigh policy efficiency (result) and productivity (quality).

Therefore, the improvements of legislation and the above mentioned events, will promote the quantitative reduction of abortion, but it is necessary to show political will, restraint and consistency, in order to implement and to practice these approaches.



Author: Anna Danielyan:  © All rights are reserved

Translated by AshkhenArakelyan