Prenatal Sex-Selection among the British Indian Women: New Evidence and Policy.

Sylvie Dubuc , University of Reading
Bernice Kuang, University of Reading

In the UK, a biased sex ratio at birth (SRB) among India-born women over 1990-2005 provided evidence for prenatal sex-selection against females (PSS). PSS raised considerable media attention and led to recent parliamentary debates on the abortion law in the UK. Our results are drawn from annual vital registrations. We present an updated in depth analysis of SRB trends from 1969 to 2017 among the predominant South Asian migrant groups in the UK (Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi) showing contrasting sex-ratio patterns between women groups. We interpret SRB results and, building on recent work by Dubuc and Sivia, evidence a reduction in sex-selection propensity and prevalence in the most recent period. Results are discussed in the context of the UK debates on sex-selective abortion. We discuss the role of evidence in the policy debates and the challenges of evidence-based policy in this context.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy