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Law to Prohibit Pre-Natal Sex Selection Proposed in Armenia

Armenia’s former Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Karine Hakobyan is convinced that ending pregnancy due to the undesirability of a particular sex must be regulated by law.

“It’s necessary to develop a law which will prohibit parents to know the child’s sex beforehand,” said Hakobyan, speaking at a press conference in Yerevan today.

Both Hakobyan and head of the Department of Gynecology at the Armenian-American Wellness Center Dr. Marina Voskanyan, also present at the press conference, referred to the Oct. 3 statement issued by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which emphasized that prenatal sex selection has reached “worrying proportions” in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Recall, PACE asked the authorities of these countries to “investigate the causes and reasons behind skewed sex ratios at birth.”

“The number of abortions in Armenia has always been great: legislation and our mentality is to blame here. I think a draft law will be developed soon which will set out to prohibit prenatal sex selection by law,” said Hakobyan.

(Note, the PACE statement also urged governments “to introduce legislation with a view to prohibiting sex selection in the context of assisted reproduction technologies and legal abortion.”)

A child even in the embryonic state has rights, she added.

“In Armenia, it’s not parents who are chosen for a child but a child is selected for parents, but it is the child’s rights that are a priority,” she said.

Dr. Voskanyan noted that, from her experience, people in Armenia want to know the sex even of their firstborn child.

“Women have to know that discontinuing any pregnancy can become their last [pregnancy] and will lead to serious health issues. An abortion is a very negative phenomenon,” she said.