LONDON, March 14, 2014 ( – A Pakistani woman has come forward with a harrowing tale of how being forced into sex-selective abortion, twice, has left her with memories of acute emotional pain – and fear of real, physical pain. She's asking the UK to reform its abortion laws so no woman will ever again endure what she has.

The young woman, who has emigrated to the United Kingdom, contacted the newspaper The Independent about her situation, saying her husband forced her to have two abortions after they learned the babies would be girls.

The woman, whom the newspaper dubbed “Samira,” said that her husband took her for an ultrasound to determine the sex of their child. When he found out they were expecting a girl, he informed her she would have to abort.

Seeing her looking at the ultrasound images, he told her to “tear those photographs up and don’t look at them, because you’ll be thinking about” the baby.


She arranged an abortion through the National Health Service (NHS).

“Looking back on it, I wouldn’t have had an abortion because it was a girl,” she said. “I was pressured by him because it was a girl.”

She dreamed of fleeing but feared her husband “would actually end the pregnancy himself. He would probably beat me up to such a state” that she would miscarry.

Soon, she found herself pregnant again and learned that child would also be a girl. “I was really, really happy,” she said. “It wasn’t planned or anything but I was just happy because it was female, and I was happy it was inside me.”

On fear of what would happen to her, she consented to a second sex-selective abortion. Abortion facility employees saw she was visibly shaken but offered her no comfort.

“I was crying and crying and could not stop,” Samira 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.”

She felt deep pain both times. “The worse thing was, when I went in, I had a bump, and when I came out there was no bump. I kept touching it and I just wanted to scream but the noise wouldn’t come out,” she said. “I wanted my baby back.”

Now, she is pregnant again, and she fears if an ultrasound reveals she is having a girl, her husband will force her to endure a third abortion against her will.

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“I think about it all the time,” she said. “I’m really, really scared. I’m stressed out and I’m having nightmares about bleeding and being beaten up.”

She called The Independent because the newspaper analyzed 2011 census data and found that the UK is “missing” an estimated 1,400-4,700 girls.

They analyzed the rates of second children who are girls, finding a large sex ratio imbalance among mothers born in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to a lesser extent, Bangladesh.

“Specifically, we found sex ratios of between about 1.1 and 1.2 for the second child of these families – a heavy bias in favor of boys that could not be explained if the parents were completely 'blind' to the sex of their offspring,” the paper reported.

Samira's pregnancies would not fall into that category, showing the problem of gendercide is more widespread than believed.

The Daily Telegraph had previously done undercover sting investigations that found doctors in the UK were willing to perform sex-selective abortions. Nonetheless, the Department of Health has maintained there is “no evidence” of gendercide.

Samira begs to differ, asking politicians to ban ultrasounds that would show the sex of a child until after 24 weeks. Abortion is illegal in the UK after the third trimester.

“I think there should be a campaign, definitely, to ban gender scans altogether or get them delayed until some time when the abortion cannot happen,” she said.


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