Selective abortion and its consequences

What is selective abortion and what can it cause? Selective abortion, or discriminating abortion, describes abortions based on the fetus’ sex. Determining a baby’s sex before birth and planning a family according to gender can be perceived as a cultural phenomenon which affects the gender ratio of the population.

The United Nations Population Fund and World Bank conducted a survey in Georgia, according to which about 25,000 female fetuses were selectively aborted between 1990 and 2010. These numbers are an alarming figure.

Selective abortion in Georgia is mainly caused by the following reasons:

  • In society, preference is given to the son, a male heir, which means that a boy is more “valuable”.
  • The declining birth rate since the 1990s, caused by the country’s severe socio-economic situation preventing families from having several children, makes parents choose a male fetus. 
  • According to Article 140 of the Health Care Law, having an abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy depends solely on the wishes of the pregnant woman. Access to reproductive technology makes it possible to determine the fetus’ sex in the early stages of pregnancy, when abortions are still legally possible. 

Selective abortions have negative societal consequences such as a gender imbalance, femicides and demographic problems. 

*The murales is located in Gori (Georgia) and it was realized under the Promoting Integration, Tolerance and Awareness (PITA) Project, implemented by the United Nations Association of Georgia (UNAG) and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).