Sex-selective abortion is the practice of terminating a pregnancy based upon the predicted sex of the baby. The selective abortion of female fetuses is most common in areas where cultural norms value male children over female children, especially in parts of People's Republic of China, India, Pakistan, and the Caucasus. Sex-selective abortion can affect the human sex ratio—the relative number of males to females.
Process of abortion 
Prenatal sex discernment 
The earliest post-implantation test is to take a blood sample from the mother and test on the small amount of fetal DNA that can be found within it. A meta-analysis published in 2011 found that such tests are reliable more than 98% of the time, as long as they are taken after the seventh week of pregnancy.
Obstetric ultrasonography, either transvaginally or transabdominally, can check for the sagittal sign as a marker of fetal sex. It can be performed between 65 and 69 days from fertilization (week 12 of gestational age), where it gives a result in 90% of cases - a result that is correct in approximately ¾ of cases, according to a study from 2001. Accuracy for males is approximately 50% and for females almost 100%. When performed later, after 70 days from fertilization (at week 13 of gestational age), it gives an accurate result in almost 100% of cases.
Surgical Abortion 
After the sex is determined through tests, the family decides whether to abort the child or not. Up to 15 weeks' gestation, suction-aspiration or vacuum aspiration are the most common surgical methods of induced abortion. Manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) consists of removing the fetus or embryo, placenta, and membranes by suction using a manual syringe, while electric vacuum aspiration (EVA) uses an electric pump. These techniques differ in the mechanism used to apply suction, in how early in pregnancy they can be used, and in whether cervical dilation is necessary. Unsafe abortions result in approximately 70 thousand maternal deaths and 5 million disabilities per year globally. An estimated 44 million abortions are performed globally each year, with slightly under half of those performed unsafely.
Since abortion is only possible when the fetus is three to four month old, older fetuses are aborted using chemical injection to induce the baby. In India, the injection costs well around 60000 to 70000 rupees (approximately USD $1070 to 1250 – living standard of India also must be considered) to induce miscarriage. Therefore, only well-off families have the privilege. In fact, researches have shown that as developing countries become richer, sex-selective abortion rises.
Drugs (over-the-counter medication) 
The underprivileged who do not have the luxury to have surgical performance or chemical injection to induce abortion drug themselves with over-the-counter medication to miscarry the child. The underprivileged who cannot afford costly operations take harmful medications to poison the baby. Even if the baby fights the toxins and is born, there are no guarantees that the baby will be physically or mentally healthy – often, babies become deformed or disabled.
The human sex ratio is affected in countries with significant sex-selective abortion. The normal range of national human sex ratios is about 1.05 to 1.07 males born to every female born. Other factors such as war can change the sex ratio. Countries with recognized significant practices of sex-selective abortion usually have higher human sex ratios such as 1.10 and above. See list of countries by sex ratio.
Sex-selective abortion has been seen as worsening the sex ratio in India, affecting gender issues related to sex compositions of Indian households. According to the decennial Indian census, the sex ratio in the 0-6 age group in India went from 104.0 males per 100 females in 1981, to 105.8 in 1991, to 107.8 in 2001, to 109.4 in 2011. The ratio is significantly higher in certain states such as Punjab and Haryana (126.1 and 122.0, as of 2001). The use of ultrasound and abortion for sex selection has been banned since 1994 in India and 1995 in China, however, there is evidence that such bans are rarely enforced, and numerous dedicated sex selection clinics operate in many regions of those countries. The practice is most common among educated and wealthy residents, who are most likely to afford the procedure. An article published in The Lancet analyzed Indian census data and concluded that selective abortion of female fetuses has increased in India over the past few decades due to increased prenatal sex discernment and has contributed to a widening imbalance in the child sex ratio, though the basis of the finding has been questioned.
India’s prime minister has stated that gendercide is a national shame and its secretary of health and family welfare has acknwoledged that the country has not been aggressive enough in combating it. Women's rights activists allege that the laws are not being enforced because the police and judiciary believe in and may even practice gendercide themselves. 
A similar situation is going on in China, too. Every year, about a million female fetuses are aborted and tens of thousands of female babies go missing. In China, a historical preference for a male child has been exacerbated by the one-child policy, which was enacted in 1979. The strong cultural preference for sons is heightened by the one-child policy leading and cultural values results in serious consequences.
Studies verify the phenomena using sex ratio at birth (SRB, the ratio of boys born per 100 girls). The average SRB is supposed to lie between 104 ~ 106; however, the research has shown that in India, some areas record up to 120, and China, some provinces go well beyond 130.
It has been argued that by having a one-child policy, China has increased the rate of abortion of female fetuses, thereby accelerating a demographic decline. As most Chinese families are given incentives to have only one child, and would often prefer at least one son. Researchers have expressed concern that prenatal sex selection may reduce the number of families in the next generation. "Later legal concessions (including the permission to have a second child if the first one is a girl) reflect some official recognition of these problems." (Amartya Sen, 1990)
Gender bias can broadly impact a society, and it is estimated that by 2020 there could be more than 35 million young "surplus males" in China and 25 million in India. Policy makers in China are attempting to provide financial incentives to parents who have a female to help balance the sex ratio.
United States 
The US has a human sex ratio of about 1.05, which is within the average global norm. Sex-selective abortion may occur in certain Indian and Asian communities in the United States. In May 2012, Live Action, a pro-life group, sent actors posing as pregnant women into Planned Parenthood clinics, asking a series of questions to elicit information on sex-selective abortions. These interviews were video taped and the videos were posted on the internet. The United States Congress has debated legislation that would outlaw the practice. The legislation ultimately failed to pass in the House of Representatives.
Other countries 
Abnormal sex ratios at birth, possibly explained by growing incidence of sex-selective abortion, have also been noted in some other countries outside South and East Asia. According to the 2011 CIA World Factbook, countries with more than 110 males per 100 females at birth also include Albania and former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan. A 2005 study estimated that over 90 million females were "missing" from the expected population in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan, South Korea and Taiwan alone, and suggested that sex-selective abortion plays a role in this deficit. India's 2011 census shows a serious decline in the number of girls under the age of seven - activists believe eight million female fetuses may have been aborted between 2001 and 2011. Sex-selection practices also occur among some South Asian immigrants in the United States: A study of the 2000 United States Census observed definite male bias in families of Chinese, Korean and Indian immigrants, which was getting increasingly stronger in families where first one or two children were female. In those families where the first two children were girls, the sex ratio of the third child was observed to be 1.51:1 in favor of boys.
Reasons for sex-selective abortion 
Some research suggests that culture plays a larger role than economic conditions in gender preference and sex-selective abortion, because such deviations in sex ratios do not exist in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Demographers argue that perceived gender imbalances may arise from the underreporting of female births, rather than sex-selective abortion or infanticide.
Cultural preference 
The reason for intensifying sex-selection abortion in China and India can be seen through history and cultural background. Generally, before the information era, male babies were preferred because they provided manual labor and success the family lineage. Labor is still important in developing nations as China and India, but when it comes to family lineage, it is of great importance. The selective abortion of female fetuses is most common in areas where cultural norms value male children over female children. A son is often preferred as an "asset" since he can earn and support the family; a daughter is a "liability" since she will be married off to another family, and so will not contribute financially to her parents. The patriarchal structure of a society is the single most important factor skewing the sex ratio in favor of males, accentuated in some cultures by the burden of raising a dowry for a daughter's marriage. Openness to the very concept of sex selection is a significant factor: among societies which practice selective female abortion nowadays, many were systematically practicing female infanticide (either directly or by withholding postnatal care from children of undesirable sex) long before abortion became a viable option. Furthermore, in some cultures sons are expected to take care of their parents in their old age. In modern East Asia, a large part of the pattern of preferences leading to this practice can be condensed simply as a desire to have a male heir. Monica Das Gupta (2005) observes that, in late 1980s to early 1990s China, there was no evidence of selective abortion of female fetuses among firstborn children, or in families with one or more existing sons (in fact, families with multiple sons were, if anything, more likely to abort a boy than a girl). But, at the same time, families with existing daughters appeared very likely to abort any further female fetuses, resulting in heavily skewed sex ratios.
Sexual discrimination 
The role of many women in nations that are prone to sex-selection abortion is to stay home, do house chores, and raise children. She is mutely banned to work in the society, pressured by family and discouraged by society. Lower salary, working in temporary or non-regular jobs, and lower status at work is often the case even for women who do work. In these societies, mothers are compelled to assist their husbands and raise their children, sparing no time for self-development. All in all, in cultures that practice sex-selective abortion, women are prone to sexual discrimination and are viewed as inferior to men.
One-child Policy 
The 1960s scare for overpopulation led governments to implement laws to control birth rate such as the one-child policy. Accordingly, it led to consequence where parents highly value boys over girls; even to a point were words such as "infanticide" come into existence. Infanticide has come to be known as the "Holocaust for baby girls". What’s more, her child will follow the husband’s surname and is restricted to visit her parents whenever she wishes. These kinds of cultural practice mixed with the government implications of one-child policy have caused one-daughter parents to become ‘’childless’’ after the marriage. As a result, these parent no longer have a financially supporting or lineage successor. Thus, for parents to ensure financial dependence and hereditary successor, a boy must be born. In this regard, the pervasion of male dominant culture and one-child policy heightens the sex-selective abortion.
Trivers–Willard hypothesis 
The Trivers–Willard hypothesis argues that available resources affect male reproductive success more than female and that consequently parents should prefer males when resources are plentiful and females when resources are scarce. This has been applied to resource differences between individuals in a society and also to resource differences between societies. Empirical evidence is mixed with higher support in better studies according to Cronk in a 2007 review. One example, in a 1997 study, of a group with a preference for females was Romani in Hungary, a low status group. They "had a female-biased sex ratio at birth, were more likely to abort a fetus after having had one or more daughters, nursed their daughters longer, and sent their daughters to school for longer."
Gender-linked genetic abnormalities, such as several forms of colorblindness, are linked to recessive genes on the X chromosome. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis can identify some life-threatening genetic abnormalities in embryo. The easiest way to select against embryos which may have a gender-linked genetic abnormality is to choose only female embryos. Embryos which are not implanted are usually discarded.
Societal effects 
Demography issues and wifeless men 
The strong preference on boys over girls will bring about a serious problem: millions of wifeless men. In years to come, the skewed ratio of men and women could cause men to have difficulty finding brides. There are reports of women from Vietnam, Myanmar, and North Korea systematically trafficked to mainland China and Taiwan and sold into forced marriages. In South Korea and Taiwan, high male sex ratios and declining birth rates over several decades ago have led to cross-cultural marriage between local men and foreign women from countries such as mainland China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Measures being taken 
In Punjab, India, government and NGO networks have set up orphanages to shelter the unwanted girls.
In 1994 over 180 states signed the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, agreeing to "eliminate all forms of discrimination against the girl child". In 2011 the resolution of PACE's Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men condemned the practice of prenatal sex selection.
In popular culture 
- The Manish Jha film, Matrubhoomi-A Nation Without Women (2003), depicts a future dystopia in a village in India, populated exclusively by males due to female infanticide, and which is reduced to barbarianism.
- It was also featured in the 2012 movie The Dictator when Admiral General Aladeen notices a couple giving birth to a baby girl, which he wanted to throw away. Also in the end of the movie, he responded to the news if Zoey would give birth to a boy or have an abortion.
See also 
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