Armenians take to Facebook to protest sex-selective abortions

Armenian Facebook users have this week come together to raise awareness on the topic of sex-selective abortion, an issue that remains common in the South Caucasus nation.

The Facebook campaign saw Armenian parents sharing photographs of their daughters in an attempt to show that parents of baby girls are equally as happy as parents of baby boys.

Sex-selective abortions have become a widespread issue in Armenia due to the country’s largely patriarchal culture and the increasing desire by many parents to bring a son into the family. Increasing access to abortion and birth control has also contributed to an increase in abortions of female fetuses.

In 2013 The Economist reported on an increase in gender-based abortion, in which it speculated that the ration of male to female may be as high as 120 boys for every 100 girls in some parts of the South Caucasus.

Concerns over the rate of gender-based abortions have been raised by campaigners across the political spectrum. Many members of Armenia’s conservative community are against the idea of abortions, while more liberal, progressive Armenians view the issue as part of the country’s patriarchal culture.

The campaign, which is still ongoing, comes after a recent ban on over-the-counter sales of Cytotec in an attempt to curb at-home abortions. The Armenian Ministry of Health also announced this week that amendments to laws on abortion and sexual health were being proposed in order to decrease the number of sex-selective abortions in the county.

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