Armenia, selective abortion remains a concern

Once a widespread phenomenon in Armenia, selective abortion has declined in the last decade. However, according to the data up to 2022, the practice of prenatal selection based on gender has started again

Armine Avetisyan Yerevan

Selective abortion has been an issue in Armenia in recent years. As a result of efforts by the government and the private sector, it seemed that many families had given up on the idea of having only a male child, but after the war of 2020 the issue has become relevant again. There are still families in Armenia who choose selective abortion.

Filling the loss
“My brother died in 2020. It was a war. I missed my brother, I was looking for his replacement everywhere...”, Gayane (the name is changed), 38, who is pregnant and expecting a boy, begins her story.


A ‘Frozen War’ in Europe Threatens Sex, Abortion and LGBTQ Rights

Armenian authorities are officially pro-choice but also desperately want to increase the country's birth rate to create more soldiers to fight in Nagorno-Karabakh.

By Sophia Smith Galer
August 14, 2023

YEREVAN, Armenia – There haven’t been any attacks at the Women’s Resource Center’s new address – at least, not yet. Anush Poghosyan, who leads the sexual and reproductive health project for the NGO, told VICE News that physical attacks were frequent before they moved to another location in the capital.

Human rights groups fighting for better sexual and reproductive health rights, including the Women’s Resource Center, have told VICE News they are experiencing increased levels of targeted harassment for the work that they do. Poghosyan said she has been asked “Why are you destroying our families?” at women’s marches, and at one event, after her organisation had translated a book for parents to speak to children about sex education, around 20 people unhappy with the book’s content arrived to throw eggs.


Regional Conference on Bringing the WHO Recommendations on Safe Abortion and Family Planning Closer to Women in Countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia

EASTERN EUROPE / CENTRAL ASIA – Regional Conference on Bringing the WHO Recommendations on Safe Abortion and Family Planning Closer to Women in Countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
December 18, 2018

Chisinau, Moldova, 15-16 November 2018

Organised by the Reproductive Health Training Centre, Moldova, with support from the Safe Abortion Action Fund

There were 65 participants. The meeting was in Russian with simultaneous translation in English. Participants included health professionals, health policymakers and NGO representatives from 11 counties in the region – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Russia.


ARMENIA – Network of advocates for women’s reproductive rights launched in Armenia

ARMENIA – Network of advocates for women’s reproductive rights launched in Armenia

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
March 13, 2018

In 2017 the Women’s Resource Centre Armenia has launched an initiative to develop a network of experts to advocate for women’s reproductive rights. The Network members are representatives from different organizations and activists who have a background in reproductive rights. An issue of the highest importance currently, on which the network is focussing, is access to abortion.

In August 2016 the Armenian Government passed an amendment to the Law on Human Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights prohibiting sex-selective abortions. State policy is in reality trying to address the increase in overall number of abortions in Armenia. The law also introduces counselling, as well as a three-day period of reflection before the final decision is made on the request for a termination, and defines procedures to be taken against medical staff acting against this legislation.


ARMENIA – Sex selection banned

ARMENIA – Sex selection banned
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Mar 2, 2018

Armenia, after China and Azerbaijan, is the third country in the world where we have the most abortions of female fetuses. According to the statistics, before a campaign to discourage the practice, between 110 and 120 boys were born for every 100 girls.

Pray to bear a son, they say. Abortions based on sex selection were prohibited in Armenia in 2016, because the sex ratio showed a considerable gap between men and women and was seen as a demographic threat. In spite of illegality, however, the practice persists.


New survey shows abortion rate declining in Armenia

New survey shows abortion rate declining in Armenia
29/08/2017 Armenia

The fertility rate, total (births per woman) in Armenia is reported at 1.7 while the rate was 2.8 in 90s per women, Karine Saribekyan, Director of the Maternal and Child Health Department at the Armenian Ministry of Healthcare, told reporters on Monday while presenting the data of the newly released “Armenia Demographic and Health Survey 2015-2016” (ADHS).

In Saribekyan’s words, a tendency of declining abortion rates is observed in Armenia. According to the research, in 2015-2016, 69% of pregnancies ended in live births in 2015-2016, 23% - in induced abortions, while 9% - in miscarriages, and stillbirths. The previous research conducted in 2000 suggested abortions rate at 55%, 45% in the research conducted in 2005, and 29% - in the Demographic Research of the year 2010.

The head of the department detailed that two third of the induced abortions were due to the woman’s wish to have no more children, 8% - with diseases in offspring, another 8% for sex-selective reasons.

Source: Panorama:

Law to cut sex-selective abortions in Armenia ‘putting lives at risk’

Government introduces waiting time after warning that high level of terminations of female foetuses was causing a demographic crisis

Florence Low in Yerevan

Friday 21 October 2016

A new law designed to cut the high rate of sex-selective abortions in Armenia is inadequate, limiting women’s reproductive choices and putting lives at risk, according to women’s rights groups.

The ex-Soviet country, with a population of just under 3 million, has the third highest rate of abortion of female foetuses in the world, behind China and Azerbaijan.

In August, the government outlawed sex-selective terminations in response to pressure from the international community and the United Nations Population Fund (Unfpa), which warned of an impending demographic crisis because of the number of foetuses being aborted due to their gender.

[continued at link]
Source: The Guardian

Continuing the Reports from 28 September

4 October 2016

More reports on September 28 events from the International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion, including from Poland, Nicaragua, Netherlands, UK, Armenia, Macedonia, Croatia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana.


[continued at link]
Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion