Gone Girls: other viewArchive
THIS is apropos the article “Pakistan’s ‘Gone Girls’” (July 1).
Sex selective abortion is not an issue in Pakistan. In my practice of over 25 years, I have not come across a single couple who has had this done in Karachi. My very senior and junior colleagues have a similar experience, both in public and private sectors in Pakistan. Generally couples do query whether they can select the gender of their future child before conception, but not termination of pregnancy.
All this article has done is damage Pakistan’s reputation both nationally and internationally, judging by the comments on the Internet, and the writer will get fame, as the international media just loves maligning Pakistan. Who cares whether the story is authentic.
We should be proud that this problem is not prevalent in Pakistan as it is in neighbouring India. It reflects that we still value our daughters. There is no denying the oppression of women in our society generally. Sex selective abortion is not rampant here, as Rafia Zakaria is out to project.
Too many abortions take place in Pakistan (2.2m per year according to the Population Council report 2014), and the number has doubled in the last 10 years. These are mostly for economic reasons.
As a nation, we have failed to address the unmet need for family planning. The writer should direct her energies towards family planning, healthcare and education for all in Pakistan.
Me and my colleagues at the National Committee of Maternal and Neonatal Health, Association for Mothers and Newborns and Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists are crying hoarse about these issues, but to deaf ears!
Prof Sadiah Ahsan Pal
Published in Dawn, July 22nd, 2015
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