Sex-selective Abortion Reported in Canada

A report published April 11, 2016 in the Journal of the Canadian Medical association confirms that selective abortions according to sex are practiced in Canada by the immigrant populations from Asiatic countries as can also be observed in Great Britain.

The study carried out between 1990 to 2011demonstrated a ratio of 105 boys for 100 girls in the general population, whereas it is 138 boys for 100 girls in families of Indian origin. In Ontario, in families who already have 2 girls, the ratio starting with the 3rd child is 326 boys for 100 girls.

Economical and bioethical experts denounce the combination of easy access to abortion with techniques for determining sex at increasingly earlier stages, which makes Canada an attractive place for aborting feminine fetuses, which is contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Whereas the law of 2004, the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, forbids sex-selection for pre-implantation of embryos in assisted reproduction, fetuses are not protected in abortions according to sex.

Since abortion was decriminalized by the Supreme Court in 1988, there is no federal law on abortion in Canada, no legal stipulations and no mention of time limits, even if the majority of abortions are practiced before 24 weeks, which corresponds to the viability limit of the fetus. Beyond that time limit, women go to the United States for late term abortions.

Debates exist opposing those who are pro-abortion, who fear limitations on abortion, and those who wish to forbid the practice of selective abortions. In 2012, Deputy Mark Warawa tried to have a motion adopted to forbid sex-selective abortions, which failed, rejected as inadmissible.

South Korea demonstrates a thought-provoking example since the gender ratio imbalance has been successfully reduced. The country prohibits the practice of sex-selective abortion as seen in the Canadian study. Other factors have also contributed to this decrease according to the United Nations Population Fund: social and economical development in the country, and also the national campaign « Love Your Daughters ».