How can I deal with conflicts about carrying or giving birth to a baby girl

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The following are some strategies you may use to defend yourself and your baby girl if your husband or his family are putting pressure on you to abort a female foetus:

1. Point out to your husband and his family that without women no boy child can ever be born and therefore a girl child is always a blessing on society and necessary for the continuation of life in this world.

2. Explain to your husband that girls are pillars of the society. A girl can be a good daughter, a good sister, a good wife and, in the future, a good mother. If the practice of abortion continues for the next few years, we surely will see a day without mothers and thus no life. Without daughters, we have no future.

3. Tell your husband that girls are usually more obedient than boys. In general, girls show more responsibility, devotion and respect for their family, job, society or country than boys, and often they care a lot more about their parents than boys do.

4. If your husband and his family are still not convinced and blame you for "only having girls" ensure that they are aware of the following scientifically proven facts (which any doctor or health worker will confirm to be true, should your husband doubt it):

  • a baby‘s gender is determined at conception - and it is the male's sperm that dictates whether the baby will be a boy or a girl. We all get genetic material from both our parents, which is why children look like both their mother and father.
  • Prior to conception, the unfertilized egg of a woman only carries a genetic material called an X-chromosome. The male sperm, however, carries either an X-chromosome or a Y-chromosome as genetic material.
  • If a sperm carrying an X chromosome fertilises the egg the resulting embryo will be a girl, if a sperm carrying an Y chromosome fertilises the egg the resulting embryo will be a boy.
  • It is, therefore, the father‘s sperm that dictates the sex of a baby, not the mother‘s egg, so a woman is never responsible for the sex of her children. So it is your husband who is responsible for the sex of your children, not you.

IMPORTANT: If at all possible, do not agree to an ultrasound scan or any other method of detecting whether you are carrying a boy or a girl. If your husband or his family try to force you to do so seek help and support. Maybe there is a self-help group for women in your area or, if not, you could speak to a person of authority you trust (e.g. a health worker, a religious leader of your community or a senior family member).

  • Burns, A. A., Niemann, S., Lovich, R., Maxwell, J., & Shapiro, K. (2014). Where women have no doctor: A health guide for women. Hesperian Foundation.
  • Audiopedia ID: en021011