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Girls targeted for sex-selective abortion in Australia, data suggests

by | Aug 9, 2022

By SPUC—the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

Recent gender ratio statistics suggest that girls are being targeted for abortion in Australia because couples prefer to have boys.

On average, between 102 and 106 boys are born for every 100 girls born around the world – meaning an average for boys of 105.5 in 2020, the most recent data suggests.

But data also shows that among Indian and Chinese communities in Australia, the average rate for boys is around 109, indicating that girls are likely being targeted for sex-selective abortion.

Anecdotal evidence also hints that sex-selective abortion occurs in Australia, with one GP from Melbourne reporting that they told two parents to come “into the 21st century” after they said they might have an abortion if an ultrasound showed they would be having a girl.

A spokesperson for the Australian Christian Lobby has also highlighted “a trend in the country for more girls to be aborted than boys… It is growing and particularly in some ethnic communities.”

This mooted trend in sex-selective abortions in Australia has led to calls for action on behalf of girls being targeted for abortion, coverage of which is currently provided by the country’s Medicare program. 

Abortion law varies between individual Australian states, which generally have abortion limits of around 22 to 24 weeks, long after an ultrasound can determine the sex of a baby in the womb.

One Australian doctor, Dr. Caroline Norma, has suggested that the disclosure of a baby’s sex by ultrasound “should be banned – not just for people in communities more likely to want sex-selective abortions – but for everyone”.

Sex-selective abortion around the world

It has been estimated that over 160 million girls around the world have gone “missing” due to sex-selective abortion – an issue covered by Fiorella Nash in her 2018 book “The Abolition of Woman”.

India appears to have a particular problem, with 13.5 million baby girls having been killed by sex-selective abortions in India between 1987 and 2016, as reported by SPUC.

Evidence of sex-selective abortions occurring in the UK has also come to light in recent years; including an investigation by the Independent, which found that sex-selective abortion “has reduced [the] female population by between 1,500 and 4,700”.

In 2018, Labour MP Naz Shah warned that early blood tests were being used across the UK within ethnic minority communities that had a “cultural preference for boys”, leading to sex-selective abortion.

Women suffer from abortion in more ways than one

SPUC’s Michael Robinson, Executive Director (Public Affairs and Legal Services), said: “Abortion is a discriminatory tool being used to eliminate unwanted girls around the world, in Australia, in India, but also the UK.

“Last year, SPUC reported on a powerful art exhibition giving voice to the 7,000 girls aborted every day in India – aborted for being girls. Women suffer from abortion in many different ways, whether they are the target of abortion themselves or are forced to abort their child.

“It is vital that abortion culture in all its myriad forms be confronted honestly if we are to help women and save lives. The lie that women benefit from abortion must and will be consigned to history.”