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Doctor Tereza Hendl, Sydney University, expert in the ethical aspects of selecting a child’s gender, thinks there is no point trying to legislate against sex selective abortions because it is impossible to know why a woman wants to terminate a pregnancy.

"The woman can identify the chromosomal sex of the child at 10 weeks, possibly 6, and then go to another medical practitioner and have an abortion. And nobody would know."

"The woman can identify the chromosomal sex of the child at 10 weeks, possibly 6, and then go to another medical practitioner and have an abortion. And nobody would know."

The question on whether it is legal or illegal to practise a sex selective abortion in Australia is not conclusive. 

In Australia, states’ legislations regulate the practise of abortion. It is legal in Victoria, Western Australia, Northern Territory and ACT. Even though it is still a crime in Queensland and New South Wales, it is not penalised if the termination of the pregnancy prevents potential serious danger to a woman’s physical or mental health.

Professor of Clinical Ethics at Macquarie University, Wendy Rogers, says community pressure might be potentially dangerous for women’s mental health.

"If a woman is going to be subject to severe sanctions by her community or potentially disapprobation or stronger forms of perhaps even abuse from a partner and or her extended family for not producing a child of the right sort, that’s potentially a great threat to her wellbeing, to her health."

"If a woman is going to be subject to severe sanctions by her community (...) for not producing a child of the right sort, that’s potentially a great threat to her (...) health."

Another concern around legislating against sex selective abortion is that it can lead to unfair discrimination.

"We can’t look into people’s psyches and tell exactly what they are thinking. So it’s unenforceable, it risks discrimination and stereotyping of women of Indian and Chinese appearance so it might be very unfair."

"It’s unenforceable, it risks discrimination and stereotyping of women of Indian and Chinese appearance so it might be very unfair."

Professor Rogers suggests considering other alternatives, like South Korean's strategy to fight against female foeticide.

"They had a strong culture of preference for sons and had a quite skewed sex ratio at birth one point. And they’ve really worked hard to try and get rid of that. And a lot of things have happened to help, including the sort of rapid industrialization, more women in the work force and education. But also they had particular awareness rising campaigns and that’s really wound back… that gender imbalance."