Vietnamese woman says she had 18 abortions in bid to conceive son
29 May 2015
Vietnamese woman says she had 18 abortions in bid to conceive son - © Frank Leonhardt, dpa
Hanoi (dpa) - The story of a Vietnamese woman who says she had 18 abortions in her unsuccessful quest for a son provoked sympathy among internet users Friday on sex-selection practices that officials say have reached an alarming level.
In a TV appearance this week with her face concealed, she described how after giving birth to four daughters, her husband's disappointment and her depression led her to repeatedly terminate pregnancies when the foetus was female. "I was very frustrated and wanted to commit suicide, to leave everything behind," the woman said. "My husband still goes out to find someone who can give birth a son for him."
Social media erupted with shock after the woman's story was aired. "How sad for this woman that she did not dare to oppose such a dated thought," one reader wrote on the Kenh14.vn news site.
Gender-based abortion, a long-recognized phenomenon in India and China, has soared in recent years in Vietnam. A recent survey showed that in some of Vietnam's rural provinces, the imbalance had reached 150 boys for every 100 girls. This contributed to national imbalance of 120 boys born for every 100 girls - up from a 111/100 ratio in 2011.
At the turn of the century, the gender birth ratio was close to the accepted international average of 104 boys to 100 girls. Easier access to clinics that can determine foetal sex early on and terminate pregnancies have contributed the growing imbalance. Authorities have tried to address the imbalance by forbidding clinicians from revealing whether it will be a boy or a girl. This rarely works in practice, as doctors use the euphemism "bird" for boy and "butterfly" for girl.