A British mother says she had two abortions because her husband did not want girls, in a case described as “harrowing.”
Speaking to The Independent newspaper anonymously, “Samira”—whose parents are Pakistani—said she has had two sex-selective abortions in the U.K., once at an NHS clinic and once privately.
She said she hid the real reason for her abortions on both occasions, and—as she is pregnant again—is worried she may be forced to have another abortion.
Both Samira’s pregnancies were unplanned, but the second time, in particular, she was “really, really happy” that her unborn child was a girl.
However, her husband did not share her joy, and the couple arranged an abortion.
“On the day of the termination I went into the clinic crying. I was crying and crying and could not stop,” she said. “The nurse saw I was upset but she said, ‘Just put these tablets inside you.’ They weren’t concerned that this person looked upset.
“I was crying but I was trying to be careful because what if they didn’t go ahead with the abortion and then my husband would blame me.”
Although she did not want the abortion, Samira felt she was unable to make the decision on her own, “because if [she'd] made that choice and gone ahead with the baby” then her husband “would actually end the pregnancy himself.”
Samira is now calling for a ban on scans showing the sex of unborn children or for them to be “delayed until some time when the abortion cannot happen.”
She told her story following recent revelations from The Independent attributing the “disappearance” of between 1,400 and 4,700 females to sex-selective abortions.
However, the specifics of Samira’s case meant it was not included in The Independent’s original analysis of “lost girls.”
The newspaper concluded, “This indicates that the problem may be far more widespread, and, if anything, we could have underestimated the true extent of Britain’s missing girls.”