Sex-selective abortions in pursuit for a boy

There are on average 105 boys on every 100 girls born in Kosovo, whereas last year this “girl-boy” difference was even more favorable for the boys.

The statistics, however, gives a different picture: women make up 51% of the overall number of the Kosovo’s population -1.739.825, while 49%  are men.

Visare Mujku-Nimani, who headed the research conducted by the Kosovo Agency of Statistics (KAS), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Market Research Agency INDEX Kosova, concluded at the end of this project that “there was a chronological discrepancy between girls and boys in Kosovo”. This, according to her, indicates that in Kosovo “there’s a stronger preference for boys, which implies the existence of sex-selective abortions…”

L.H. 35 years old, mother of three, two boys and a girl, says that the abortions she had were for a single reason –  she was carrying a baby girl.

“I had two sex-selective abortions. I took this decision in agreement with my husband, and now we are blissful for we have the family we’ve always wanted”, says L.H.

Gynecologist Suada Latifi from the University Clinical Centre of Kosovo says that sex-selective abortions are not widely spread in Kosovo.

Department of Gynecology in the Ferizaj Hospital claims that sex-selective abortions something their staff rarely encounters. According to nurse Suzana Ferati, even when these abortions happen, they are performed in private clinics.

“Albeit I am against sex-selective abortions, me and the staff may perform this when both parents agree, and when this is in accordance with the law”, she says.

H.F. from the municipality of Ferizaj, was only 25 years old when she had her first child, a girl who today is a student. This was her first joy, though not shared by others. “If only she were a boy” was what she heard instead of “congratulations”.

“I aborted four girls because my husband and his family wanted me to have a boy, and we could not afford having too many children”, says H.F.

Today, 47 years old, she says that if it was up to her, she would have kept all of those girls, believing that a family can be brought up without a boy, too.

Besa Ismaili-Ahmedi, a professor at the Faculty of Islamic Sciences says that sex-selective abortions are a disturbing phenomena in our society.

“It’s a highly disturbing phenomenon, even though it is not very widely spread in Kosovo;  Islam considers it as one of the greatest sins, even in a single case”.

According to the laws of Republic of Kosovo, abortion is legal if performed until the tenth week of pregnancy, as well as on the 16th week, in exceptional instances, when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest.

Xhenete Hasani

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